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Title: Decision processes in the use of technological support for children and young people with life-limiting conditions
Author: Nicholson, Johanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 9884
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: Decisions about technological support for children with life-limiting canditians are surrounded by uncertainty, and require families to weigh up complex issues around quality and prolongation of life. The limited evidence suggests there is inadequate information and support for decision-making, and potential for misunderstanding between families and professionals. Aim: To investigate parents' and young people's experiences of making decisions about technological support, focusing on artificial nutrition and assisted ventilation. Methods: A purposive sample of nineteen families of life-limited children and young people (twenty-five parents and five young people) who had considered the use of technological support was drawn from users of a children's hospice. In-depth interviews were carried out with this sample and the data subject to thematic analysis. Findings: Parents and young people wish to make the right choices, and consider a range of factors and information in an effort to become informed, even when there is no perceived choice in decisions they make. Quality of life is identified as the key decision factor, which as a fluid and evolving cancept underpins the process of assessing a child's needs and considering the potential impact of a proposed intervention. Wider features of the process also influence how families make decisions, and the research proposes an ecalogical framework which distinguishes between decision factors, used by families to cansider a proposed intervention; decision features, unique to the patient population in this case life-limited children; and process factors concerned with the wider context and health care environment. Conclusions: Decision features, which include the evolving role of parents and young people as decision makers, and process factors such as the role of professionals and access to information for decision-making, can either enable or constrain families during the decision process and influence both the perceived choice and the degree of uncertainty they experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available