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Parenting a child with Phenylketonuria (PKU): an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the experience of parents

Carpenter, Katie, Wittkowski, Anja, Hare, Dougal J, Medford, Emma, Rust, Stewart, Jones, Simon A. and Smith, Debbie M. 2018. Parenting a child with Phenylketonuria (PKU): an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the experience of parents. Journal of Genetic Counselling 10.1007/s10897-018-0227-7

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Abstract

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare inherited metabolic disorder which can cause neurological damage if left untreated. PKU is identified through newborn screening in developed countries, and treatment begins immediately to prevent these severe consequences. When a child is diagnosed, parents must assume immediate responsibility for the management of PKU and prevention of neurological damage. Quantitative studies have identified significant psychosocial stressors for parents, but little is known about how the parents experience this process. This study aimed to explore the experiences of parents of children with PKU under the age of two. It is the first study to examine these experiences in this way. Seven parents were interviewed about their experiences, and interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the data. Three main themes were identified: control, striving for normality and acceptance of PKU as a continuum. Links between the themes and processes underpinning the results were explored with relation to existing literature and theories from a clinical psychology perspective. The role of acceptance of PKU was central to the parent’s experiences. Clinical implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1059-7700
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2018
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2018 14:35
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/109678

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