The Investigating Meaning/Purpose and Connectedness (IMPACT) Study: A Comparative Case Study of Parents of Adult Children with Schizophrenia
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Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling disease that causes significant stress for a family from the time of onset throughout the individual’s life. For families with members who live with schizophrenia, spirituality can be a source of support and help caregivers manage stress. While holistic nursing care of patients and families with schizophrenia includes addressing spiritual needs, spirituality is often not incorporated into nursing care due to a lack of understanding and confidence of nurses. There has been little research to understand the spiritual needs of parent caregivers of adult children with schizophrenia. The purpose of this comparative case study was to answer the question: “How do parent caregivers of adult children with schizophrenia renegotiate their spirituality, defined as life meaning/purpose and connectedness, in the years following the onset of the illness?” A comparative case study approach was used. Participants were recruited from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Northeast Ohio and social media. Snowball sampling was also used to recruit participants. Eligibility criteria included the ability to speak and understand English, having an adult child with schizophrenia, and consenting to be interviewed via Zoom videoconferencing technology on a phone or computer. Three in-depth interviews were conducted with six participants, and artifacts were documented. Cases were analyzed individually using thematic analysis and across cases to identify similarities and differences. Three persons were interviewed, all white women between the ages of 57 and 73. When one participant was unable to complete the interview series, another was recruited. Primary themes from the interviews were conflict/peace, disconnectedness/connectedness, real/ideal, and despair/hope. Ancillary themes were related to the participants’ personal values and beliefs and included the role of mother/parent/provider and personal religious beliefs. This study provided a deeper understanding of the process of renegotiating spirituality that can inform future nursing research exploring best ways to support for families with children who live with schizophrenia. This better understanding of family processes and needs can inform development of family-targeted, nurse-led programs to provide more individualized and holistic care to families.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature and theoretical framework -- Methods -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Recruitment flyer -- Appendix B. Internet recruitment flyer -- Appendix C. Recruitment sources -- Appendix D. Demographic sheet -- Appendix E. Initial telephone call script -- Appendix F. Interview guides -- Appendix G. Observation form -- Appendix H. Preliminary code list -- Appendix I. IMPACT study consent form -- Appendix J. Images of memory objects
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)