Journal of Advanced Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Swedish Association of Paediatric Nurses Region Östergötland FoU
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aim: The aim was to explore the lived experiences of parents who give oral and rectal pharmacological treatment to their children with functional constipation at home. Design: A phenomenological design with a reflective lifeworld research approach that describes phenomena as they are experienced by individuals. Methods: From January–May 2019, 15 interviews were conducted with parents of children with functional constipation with home-based oral and rectal treatment. Parents were recruited from three different healthcare levels. Open-ended questions were used starting from the description of a normal day with constipation treatment. Analyses were made with an open and reflective ‘bridling’ attitude. Findings: Constipation treatment causes parents to question their parental identity and what it means to be a good parent. Forced treatment makes them feel abusive and acting against their will as parents. There is a conflict between doubt and second thoughts about the treatment, the urge to treat based on the child's needs and encouragement from healthcare professionals to give treatment. Conclusion: As pharmacological constipation treatment can be experienced as challenging, it is important to help parents make an informed decision about how such treatment should be carried out at home. The findings reveal a medical treatment situation where parents hesitate and children resist, resulting in insecure parents who question their parental identity. Impact: The findings point to the importance of supporting parents in treatment situations. Healthcare providers need to treat children with constipation with greater focus and more prompt management to prevent these families from lingering longer than necessary in the healthcare system.
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