ICU experiences.
Subject: Parenting (Social aspects)
Author: Millor, Georgia "Nicki"
Pub Date: 09/22/2009
Publication: Name: Journal of the New York State Nurses Association Publisher: New York State Nurses Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New York State Nurses Association ISSN: 0028-7644
Issue: Date: Fall-Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 40 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Accession Number: 242592195
Full Text: Lee, S-Y & Weiss, S. (2009). When east meets west: Intensive care unit experiences among first-generation Chinese American parents. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 4/ (3), 268-275.

A phenomenological, qualitative study explored the experiences and feelings of first-generation Chinese American parents to having an infant hospitalized in an ICUs (n = 25 mothers, 2l fathers, and l grandmother of 25 infants). This study was important because prior research on parental stress responses may have missed other responses not previously identified by those tools that were used with predominantly Caucasian parents. Most of the parents were married couples and had lived in the United States for 5 years; most also reported having no specific religious affiliation.

The in-depth interviews, lasting about l hour per person, were conducted in Mandarin if requested, and the researcher took detailed notes. The notes were summarized orally and confirmed or corrected by the participants following the interview.

Extensive attention was given to translating, bracketing, and coding the transcripts to develop themes about being a parent of a child in an ICU. Seven themes emerged: perceived incompetence, self-blame, blame from others, lack of support in the United States, filial piety, communication issues, and cultural differences. The researchers discussed each theme and made recommendations for family centered nursing care to reduce the stress experienced by these parents.

Communication difficulties arose from dialect differences and lack of language fluency to comprehend nursing procedures, which led to misunderstandings between parents and professionals. Cultural differences stemmed from family beliefs and practices that altered the roles these parents from traditional parental roles. The fathers' feelings of incompetence were heightened because protecting one's parents from worry (filial piety) was a theme unique to this ethnic group. Additionally, geographic unavailability of an extended family for sources of parenting information, assistance, and social support was stressful.

First-generation Chinese parents need linguistically accurate health education and support in order to cope with their child's hospitalization. Clinical resources on the Internet and article references provide nurses with additional sources of information to better understand parental stress and the unique perspective of childbearing and childrearing Chinese families in the United States.

Georgia (Nicki) Millor, retired, Pittsford, NY
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