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Mothers have key role in family life for children with technology dependencies
Date:3/18/2009

tory dysfunctions that required special technology, such as mechanical ventilation, intravenous medications/nutrition, oxygen, tracheostomies or feeding tubes.

About a third of the children were former preemies who were able to go home but needed the additional medical support to survive.

About 75 percent of the mothers also had other children at home who required attention. "Some mothers said they never left home," says Toly.

While some struggled, Toly found others were able to make a normal family life by thinking of ways to pack up ventilation and other medical equipment and take their children to doctor appointments or on family vacations. Some mothers kept elaborate notebooks or computer spreadsheets to document medications, surgeries and doctor appointments.

Those mothers have more normal lives than mothers who were unable to figure out solutions to overcoming some of the challenges in everyday life, says Toly. Mothers with greater problem-solving skills also showed fewer symptoms of depression.

As much as the children need medical help, moms need some support from the heath care system, too, says Toly. "The health care community needs to think of the whole family as the unit of care. Health care professionals need to ask mothers how they are managing at home and be alert to depressive symptoms." The high level of depressive symptoms was often not apparent during the interview and was only revealed using the questionnaire.

Toly had the opportunity to present her findings during the annual meeting of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in San Diego, March 18-22.


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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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