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Article

The Role of Parent/Caregiver with Children Affected by Rare Diseases: Navigating between Love and Fear

1
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
2
Education Department, Universidad de Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
3
eHealth Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mercedes Guilabert Mora, Virtudes Pérez-Jover and Irene Carrillo Murcia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073724
Received: 5 March 2021 / Revised: 23 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
In this paper, we propose a vision of the role of parent/caregiver with children affected by a rare disease. This vision is rooted in data obtained from our own research; however, our analysis and interpretation of this data have been subsequently checked against existing theoretical models. The research aims to explore how parents who look after children with a rare disease experience their role as caregivers and how they assimilate their role identity in this task. Semi-structured interviews were performed with parents of 10 children, and a qualitative data analysis was conducted using grounded theory. We have identified ten main categories using a grounded theory approach: stress, disorientation, insecurity, isolation, faith, trust, attention, communication with professionals, private proactivity and public proactivity. Our results also show that when parents perceive a greater burden due to looking after a child with a rare disease, the result is a change in the usual parental role. In our contribution, we offer a general outline of how parents build a role identity centred on caring for a child with a rare disease. We posit that this role identity is the outcome of the parents’ success or failure in gradually overcoming fear through love. We have conceptualized this process as navigating between love and fear. View Full-Text
Keywords: caregiver; parent; rare disease; chronic disease; qualitative research; role experience caregiver; parent; rare disease; chronic disease; qualitative research; role experience
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gómez-Zúñiga, B.; Pulido, R.; Pousada, M.; Armayones, M. The Role of Parent/Caregiver with Children Affected by Rare Diseases: Navigating between Love and Fear. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3724. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073724

AMA Style

Gómez-Zúñiga B, Pulido R, Pousada M, Armayones M. The Role of Parent/Caregiver with Children Affected by Rare Diseases: Navigating between Love and Fear. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(7):3724. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073724

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gómez-Zúñiga, Beni, Rafael Pulido, Modesta Pousada, and Manuel Armayones. 2021. "The Role of Parent/Caregiver with Children Affected by Rare Diseases: Navigating between Love and Fear" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 7: 3724. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073724

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