• parents;
  • children;
  • chronic illness;
  • normality;
  • certainty;
  • information;
  • partnership;
  • literature review

The needs of parents with chronically sick children: a literature review

Aims. This paper aims to provide health care professionals with an enhanced knowledge of the needs of parents with chronically sick children.

Design. The article takes the form of a critical literature review and examines eight research studies that were carried out from 1987 to 1997, written in the English language and analysing solely the needs or experiences of both parents with at least one chronically sick child.

Findings. Appropriately all eight studies were carried out from the naturalistic paradigm and yielded rich data. The synthesis of the results of the papers found three main themes emerging: the need for normality and certainty, the need for information, and the need for partnership.

Conclusion. The results of the review serve to emphasize and reiterate the burden of the demands made on these parents, and act as a reminder of the need for empathetic care delivery.