Evid Based Nurs 6:29 doi:10.1136/ebn.6.1.29
  • Qualitative

Review: mothers of children with physical or mental disabilities experience emotional compromise between acceptance and denial

 QUESTION: What are the experiences of mothers of children with physical or mental disabilities?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, and Dissertation Abstracts.

Study selection

Qualitative studies about mothering children with physical or mental disabilities were selected. Children could be of any age and have any condition.

Data extraction

Key phrases, themes, concepts, or metaphors from each study were listed and juxtaposed in tables. Studies were translated into one another and synthesised.

Main findings

12 studies were included. The process of mothering entailed 4 steps. (1) Becoming the mother of a disabled child. Timing: mothers of newborns with obvious anomalies held diminished roles as staff cared for their infants. Mothers felt frustrated when staff made decisions about their ability to cope and when staff provided a false protection. When a child’s disability was discovered, mothers had to deal with the loss of the “normal” child and acceptance of a different child. Emotions: emotions commonly expressed by mothers were injustice, fear, anxiety, grief, shock, disappointment, despair, and guilt. (2) Negotiating a new kind of mothering. The learning curve: …

No Related Web Pages

Free Sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of EBN.
View free sample issue >>

EBN Journal Chat

The EBN Journal Chat offers readers the opportunity to participate in discussion about research articles and commentaries from Evidence Based Nursing (EBN).

How to participate >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article