The perceptions of Taiwanese families who have children with learning disability

Mei-Ying Chang, Li-Ling Hsu
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2007, 16 (12): 2349-56

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the perceptions of families in Taiwan of living with a child who have learning disability and the parents perspectives on the cultural influences on their spiritual experiences.

BACKGROUND: Traditionally, the family is the most important unit of society, family functioning is a key field of interest among helping professionals who provide family interventions.

DESIGN: This study adopted qualitative research with semi-structured interviews. The study analysis used content analysis which was a process of identifying, coding and categorizing the themes in the data.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 117 parents in their homes and were interpreted by using content analysis to extract key conceptual themes from the transcribed interview texts.

RESULTS: The findings revealed that the perceptions of families with learning disability children were wide-ranging. The stressors did not occur in a fixed order, they were different in degree and importance from one family to another.

CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that the experience of analysing qualitative data was extremely valuable for parents in that it aided their own understanding of the real-life experiences of the parents and in coming to know the parents in a richer, more meaningful way. In doing so, nurses need to be aware of their own thoughts and environment without letting it influence others.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The nurse should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the family's culture and be able to show respect for cultural difference to assess and identify culturally acceptable health-care interventions.

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