A Comparison of Two Types of Social Support for Mothers of Mentally Ill Children

Authors

  • Kathleen Scharer PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN,

    1. Kathleen Scharer, PhD, APRN, BC, FAAN, is Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC;
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  • Eileen Colon PhD, RN,

    1. Eileen Colon, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Gardner–Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC;
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  • Linda Moneyham DNS, RN, FAAN,

    1. Linda Moneyham, DNS, RN, FAAN, Professor and Endowed Chair, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL;
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  • Jim Hussey PhD,

    1. Jim Hussey, PhD, is Research Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC;
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  • Abbas Tavakoli MPH, DrPH, ME,

    1. Abbas Tavakoli, MPH, DrPH, ME, is Director of the Statistics Lab, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; and
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  • Margaret Shugart MD, MS

    1. Margaret Shugart, MD, MS, is Acting Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Child & Adolescent Division, School of Medicine. Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
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Author contact: kmschar@mailbox.sc.edu, with a copy to the Editor: poster@uta.edu

Abstract

PROBLEM:  The purpose of this analysis was to compare social support offered by two telehealth nursing interventions for mothers of children with serious mental illnesses.

METHODS:  A randomized, controlled, quantitative investigation is underway to test two support interventions, using the telephone (TSS) or Internet (WEB). Qualitative description was used to analyze data generated during telehealth interventions.

FINDINGS:  The behaviors and attitudes of children were challenging for the mothers to manage. Mothers’ emotional reactions included fear, frustration, concern, and guilt. They sought to be advocates for their children. The nurses provided emotional, informational, and appraisal support. TSS mothers were passive recipients, while WEB mothers had to choose to participate.

CONCLUSIONS:  Mothers in both interventions shared similar concerns and sought support related to their child's problems.

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