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Title: Living between the extraordinary and the ordinary : a hermeneutic phenomenological study of being a parent to a child dependent on medical technology at home
Author: Corcoran, Yvonne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 5914
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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Improved medical and nursing care means that the numbers of children who are ‘technology dependent’ (TD) with complex continuing health care needs are expected to continue to increase over the coming years. As a result, a group of children who are dependent on medical technology are now being cared for by their parents at home. The aim of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the daily lives of parents who cared for their child who was ‘technology dependent’ with complex continuing health care needs at home. The method selected to meet the aim and objectives of this study was hermeneutic phenomenology. Sixteen parents, thirteen mothers and three fathers, who were caring for their child who was TD at home, were interviewed and six of these parents also recorded a solicited audio diary. The overarching pattern of experience that emerged from parents in this study was described as living between the extraordinary and the ordinary. Parents lived experiences were further revealed through three sub-themes; a caregiving journey suspended in time, authenticities of parenting and technological caregiving and moving forward with their lives. Interpreting the meanings that parents gave to their day to day lives revealed a dichotomy of experiences. In essence this group of parents lived with the constant, relentless demands and responsibility of meeting the care needs of their child every day at home. As parents and caregivers they became absorbed in the everydayness of living, they experienced the recurring highs and lows of being a parent and caregiver to their child yet sought to make the most of each day with their child at home. Their child’s technology dependence was both a restrictive and transformative experience and parents took on the role of 'techno-expert’ caregiver in addition to their other roles and responsibilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available