Parental coping and childhood epilepsy: the need for future research.
ABSTRACT Parents of children with epilepsy, like parents of children with many other chronic conditions, are faced with a constant feeling of uncertainty about their child's condition. This uncertainty can lead to a decreased ability to cope as evidenced by increased stress levels, negative mood states, and impaired family functioning. Because altered coping in the parent may have a profound negative impact on the child's psychosocial adjustment to living with a chronic condition, it is important to identify ways to facilitate positive coping skills in the parent. The purpose of this review was to critically analyze the existing literature related to the challenges associated with parenting a child who has epilepsy. Interventions geared toward facilitating coping in parents will also be reviewed, and gaps in the literature will be identified. Lastly, future implications for nursing research will be discussed.