Between Heaven and Hell: Experiences of parents with a critically ill child with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) - A qualitative-explorative study with couple interviews

Kröger, Yvonne; Stoffel, Gaby; Jeitziner, Marie-Madlen; Bischofberger, Iren; van Holten, Karin (2020). Between Heaven and Hell: Experiences of parents with a critically ill child with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) - A qualitative-explorative study with couple interviews Pflege, 33(6), pp. 375-383. Hogrefe 10.1024/1012-5302/a000768

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Background: It is a traumatic experience for parents when their child's severe illness necessitates a period of intensive care. This situation becomes even more challenging for parents if a highly technical therapy such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is required. Aim: The study explores the experiences of parents of critically ill children undergoing ECMO therapy with the aim of better understanding their needs and identifying courses of action for healthcare professionals. Method: The qualitative-explorative study was based on interviews with six couples whose critically ill child is or has been receiving ECMO during the last year, which were used to examine their experiences. The analysis of six such interviews was performed using intensive paraphrasing and inductive coding. Results: The parents' situation can be best characterised as ambivalent with simultaneous feelings of hope and fear. They recognize the danger to their child's life, leading to intense feelings of helplessness with strong emotional reactions. It becomes apparent that there is too little fit between the emotional world of the parents and the action patterns of the health care professionals. Conclusions: The health care professionals thinking logic is based on professional criteria, such as the life threat and risks of ECMO, which ignores the emotional needs of the parents. For this reason, it is important to be more sensitive to the parents and to share positive little signs about their child' s state of health and ability to suffer with them. Keywords: Qualitative research, parents, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), ECMO, experience

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

School of Health Professions > Institute for Participatory Health Care (Arbeitstitel)

Name:

Kröger, Yvonne;
Stoffel, Gaby;
Jeitziner, Marie-Madlen;
Bischofberger, Iren and
van Holten, Karin0000-0003-1253-8513

Subjects:

R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RT Nursing

ISSN:

1012-5302

Publisher:

Hogrefe

Language:

German

Submitter:

Karin van Holten

Date Deposited:

22 Dec 2021 13:59

Last Modified:

07 Jun 2022 21:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1024/1012-5302/a000768

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Qualitative Forschung, Eltern, pädiatrische Intensivstation, ECMO, Erfahrung

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.16184

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/16184

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