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ABSTRACT: This article presents a narrative literature review of the psychosocial impact on family life of caring for a child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Diagnosis of long-term illness in a child causes major upheaval in the lives of both the child and family. Normal family life is often emotionally, socially, physically and financially disrupted. Amid such disruption, parents attempt to cope by creating a semblance of order in their lifestyle. Within an interdisciplinary approach to caring, the children's nurse plays a pivotal role in supporting families to establish such order and reconstruct their lives, while coming to terms with the knowledge that their child could die prematurely. In addition, the nurse, in his/her role as teacher and educator, empowers parents, children and young people with the knowledge to make informed decisions and assists parents in developing the skills (often technical) to care for their child. Cystic fibrosis is one such condition in childhood, and this article explores the main psychosocial issues experienced by families caring for their child following diagnosis of CF, as raised in the literature.
British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing) 02/2011; 20(3):164-7. DOI:10.12968/bjon.2011.20.3.164