• childhood atopic eczema;
  • community nursing;
  • mother's role


  • Atopic eczema is a relatively common disease which frequently occurs during childhood.
  • This paper reports the findings of a research study which explored the effects upon family life of caring for a child with severe atopic eczema.
  • Seventy-seven accounts written by mothers of preschool children with this disease were analysed using qualitative latent content analysis.
  • The focus of this paper is on the implications of the disease for the mothers' role and the additional work generated by the disease.
  • The implications of these findings for nursing practice, in particular the work of health visitors and paediatric community nurses, is discussed.
  • Throughout this paper the term ‘nurse’ is used to describe both nurses and health visitors.