Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
© Nordic College of Caring Science
Edited By: Åshild Slettebø and Lennart Fredriksson
Impact Factor: 0.961
ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 39/104 (Nursing (Social Science))
Online ISSN: 1471-6712
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Editor's Choice - March 2014
Silent, invisible and unacknowledged: experiences of young caregivers of single parents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Katrin Bjorgvinsdottir and Sigridur Halldorsdottir.
The aim of this chosen study was to examine the personal experiences of being a young caregiver of a chronically ill parent diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In line with this aim the lived experiences of young caregivers were explored using a phenomenological design and method. The background for the study was the knowledge that most people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) choose to live at home and at the same time without known and researched consequences for their children. Therefore 11 young caregivers were interviewed in a total of 21 interviews about their experiences of living with a parent with MS.
The results show primarily that the participants received limited professional assistance and that they themselves had to provide both physical and emotional care for their parent with MS. The findings show furthermore that the participants describe this care as demanding, embarrassing and difficult because they felt unsupported, excluded and abandoned. Importantly though, most of these participants had at the time of the interviews left the primary caregiver role and then experienced a healthy transition from feeling abandoned towards independence. The authors of this study conclude that health professionals should provide information, support and guidance for young caregivers in order to empower those in similar situations. We find this study important as it points to important lived experiences for vulnerable young caregivers and their need to be seen and supported in difficult life situations with a parent with MS.
Åshild Slettebø, Editor in Chief and Lennart Fredriksson, Associate Editor
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