Normalization Strategies of Children With Asthma

Department of Applied Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 12/2008; 19(1):94-104. DOI: 10.1177/1049732308327348
Source: PubMed


Despite understanding the physiologic effects of childhood asthma, less is known about how children perceive living with asthma. We undertook semistructured, in-depth interviews with 11 boys and 11 girls (all aged 11) drawn from a larger ongoing asthma study of Manitoba children born in 1995. All had asthma, as diagnosed by a pediatric allergist. We sought to further understand how children perceive asthma. Children spoke of feeling different and commonly used words such as "pain" and "hurt." We have categorized children's strategies to normalize their lives as (a) minimizing the health impact, (b) stressing normality, (c) emphasizing abilities, (d) making adaptations in daily living, and, (e) managing symptoms with medications. These findings suggest that aspects of other researchers' work regarding normalization efforts of children with various chronic diseases also apply in a chronic condition that is less obvious.

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    • "To address the limited studies exploring the process of normalization in children, Elliot et al. (2005) reason that the concept of normalization has originated mainly from studies with chronically ill adults and the families of chronically ill children. However, in line with studies of children and adolescents with thalassemia (Atkin & Ahmad, 2001; Yunak et al., 2009), asthma (Protudjer et al., 2009), and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (Guell, 2007), we suggest through our findings a successful use of normalization by chronically ill children. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we explored the lived experiences of children with beta-thalassemia major (β-TM). We considered children as experts on their experiences in contrast to the prevalent approach of asking parents or other adults about children's perspectives. The sample consisted of 12 children aged 8 to12 years. There were two stages to data collection. In Stage 1 we employed two focus group discussions and two role plays and analyzed the data thematically. This directly informed Stage 2, consisting of 12 in-depth interviews subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. From our findings we show that living with β-TM involves a continuous struggle between feelings of being different and strategies to minimize these differences to strive for normalcy. We suggest that understanding the experiences of living with β-TM from children's perspectives can provide unique insights into their experiences, which can fill the gap in the existing, predominantly adult-oriented research on chronic illness.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Qualitative Health Research
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    • "Forsner et al. (2005) describe how children talked about being lost, hurt and in need of comfort. Guell (2007) and Protudjer et al. (2009) described how the children exert themselves to achieve normality by taking control over their lives. Stewart (2003) identified similar findings when describing how children undergoing treatment for cancer described they got used to their situation and focused on the ordinary and routine. "
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    ABSTRACT: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) asserts the right of every child to self-determination, dignity, respect, non-interference, and the right to make informed decisions. The provision of quality care in health services tailored to children's preferences means that health professionals have a responsibility to ensure children's rights, and that the child is encouraged and enabled to make his or her view known on issues that affect them. This paper will help illuminate and differentiate between a child perspective and the child's perspective in health care settings. The issues are supported with research which illustrates the different perspectives. Both perspectives are required to perceive and encounter children as equal human beings in child-centred health care settings.
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