The effectiveness of a programme of enhancing resiliency by reducing family boundary ambiguity among children with epilepsy

Pei Fan Mu*, Kai Ping Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim and objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the effect of a programme designed to reduce family boundary ambiguity in families who care for children with epilepsy. Background: When parents are caring for an epileptic child, they may experience unclear perceptions about whether the child is psychologically included in the family and develop unclear expectations regarding role performance in the family. Some studies have identified boundary ambiguity as a possible antecedent to relationship problems that are associated with negative outcomes in the areas of parental well-being and family functioning. There is a need to develop family nursing interventions that will reduce family boundary ambiguity when the family is caring for children with epilepsy. Design: A pretest, post-test, one group, quasi-experimental design was used in this study. Methods: This study was made up of three phases: first, the establishing of a parental needs checklist and the development of a parental education information handbook; second, the carrying out of a family assessment including the analysis of the meaning of their experiences and needs and the construction of an educational dialogue and finally, an outcomes evaluation after three months. Seventeen mothers participated in the study. Results: The study found that there were statistically significant improvements in family boundary ambiguity and maternal depression was reduced. Conclusions: This study illustrates nursing intervention that involves the integrating of phenomenological principles into the nursing care process. Specifically, Husserlian phenomenology is able to be helpful to nursing practice, especially the concepts of intentionality, intersubjectivity, empathy and bracketing. Relevance to clinical practice: This study supported the conceptual framework involved in the construction of the meaning of the situation, the enhancement of mastery over the situation and reconstruction of identity. These items are resiliency factors that provided a mechanism that helps to reduce boundary ambiguity when a family is caring for a child with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1453
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Boundary ambiguity
  • Experimental design
  • Mastery
  • Meaning
  • Nursing
  • Resiliency


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