Defining a new normal: A qualitative exploration of the parent experience during the single ventricle congenital heart disease interstage period.

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DOI: 10.1111/jan.14785


AIM: To explore parents' experience of transition in the period between the palliative cardiac surgeries (i.e., the interstage period) of an infant with single ventricle congenital heart disease.

DESIGN: We conducted an exploratory naturalistic inquiry using a qualitative descriptive approach.

METHODS: A purposive sample of 11 parents of children with single ventricle disease was selected among families that participated in an interstage-period parental home monitoring program during the past 2 years. Interviews and field observations were conducted September-October 2019, and data were analyzed for themes. Analysis of data was inductive, although study questions and the interpretation of results were informed by Meleis' transition theory.

RESULTS: Parents described the experience of transition in interstage as a striving for normality, a theme that was clustered in subthemes of home, self, and infant.

CONCLUSION: Parents' experiences of striving for normality indicated a need for more targeted efforts to address parents' psychosocial needs during the highly stressful interstage transition.

IMPACT: This research underscored the complexity of parents' psychosocial support needs on returning home after their child's first palliative surgery. The findings also suggest need for examination of the transition following the second palliative heart surgery, when the home monitoring program is withdrawn. Understanding parent needs will help guide healthcare teams in developing ways to support parents as they adjust to home, self, and child.

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Journal of advanced nursing





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adherence; congenital heart disease; home monitoring program; infant; mHealth; nursing stress; parent experience; single ventricle interstage; transition to home


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