Caring perceptions and experiences of fathers of children with congenital heart disease: A systematic review of qualitative evidence

Pei Jung Lin, Yu Ting Liu, Chin Hui Huang, Shu He Huang, Chi Wen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: To identify fathers' perceptions and experiences of caring for their children with congenital heart disease. Design: A qualitative systematic review. Data sources: PubMed, Clinical Key, the Joanna Briggs Institute Evidence-based practice database, CINAHL Complete, Embase and PsycINFO were searched for all journal articles published before May 2020. Review methods: After applying the selection criteria, five studies were identified reporting on fathers with children between 1 month and 12 years. The quality of the articles was evaluated. Results: Six main themes regarding fathers' perceptions and experiences of caring for their children with congenital heart disease were identified: (1) lack of disease knowledge, (2) responsibility to the family and emotional suppression, (3) gratitude for the sustained life of their children, (4) acceptance of being different from others, (5) regrouping and planning for the future and (6) the struggles of father–child relationships. Conclusion: In caring for their children with congenital heart disease, fathers are akin to a suffering warrior, full of hardship. With a self-imposed sense of responsibility and suppressed emotions, fathers may feel lonely and hurt, but they must fight for their families and children.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • caring perceptions
  • congenital heart disease
  • experience
  • father
  • nursing

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