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Title: The development of self-regulation in mothers of children with asthma : a qualitative and quantitative study
Author: Madge, Philippa J.
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2007
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Asthma is the commonest chronic disease of childhood. It is also the most frequent cause of hospital admission, with rates of admissions being highest in children under five years of age. Asthma is an episodic disease that changes over time and has several different presentations in children. Diagnosis is not straightforward, and may be delayed in the very young. Treatment of asthma in the under fives is particularly problematic, with difficulties around both the administration and efficacy of drug therapy. Parents of young children with asthma require support to develop the necessary strategies and skills to best control the disease and allow them to take a primary role in managing their child's disease. Educational programmes to develop skills in parents of young children have had limited success. This may be because current interventions are neither based on appropriate behavioural theories, nor are sympathetic to the beliefs of parents. Self-regulation is emerging as an important theory for understanding behavioural approaches to asthma. However, most studies of asthma self-regulation have focused on adults and parents of older children and little is known about how or when self-regulation develops in carers of young children with asthma. The present qualitative study explored the circumstances around the onset and diagnosis of asthma in young children, the development of self-regulation in their mothers and the impact of their mothers' beliefs on the development of selfregulation. Qualitative interviews were conducted with twenty-one mothers of young children with asthma. The mothers had all attended a large Children's Teaching Hospital in the West of Scotland with their children. The principles of grounded theory were used to direct qualitative data collection and analysis. To compliment findings from the qualitative interview a questionnaire assessment of illness perception and psychological predictors of disease management behaviours was included. Four key themes emerged from the qualitative analysis; Vigilance, the Void, Connection and Lay Models of Asthma. The study described the experiences of a group of mothers confronting asthma developing in their child and how they reached a stage where they were able to regulate their child's asthma by engaging in observational activity, making judgements about intervening with appropriate management strategies, and assessing whether their intervention was successful. Connection (making the link between strategy and outcome) is a key component underpinning self-regulation. It describes an important gateway between an individual who uses management practices versus an individual who derives successful strategies to regulate a child's asthma. Collectively the findings mark an important expansion in current understanding of the development of self-regulation in mothers of young children with asthma.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral