Thai families' caring practices for infants with congenital heart disease prior to cardiac surgery

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  • This focused ethnographic study aimed at exploring how the Thai sociocultural context influenced the perceptions and practices of Thai families caring for infants, 3 months to 17 months, with symptomatic, acyanotic or cyanotic, congenital heart disease (CHD), prior to cardiac surgery. Purposive sampling was used to recruit twelve parents and two family members, from eight families, who brought their infant with a CHD, to two university hospitals in Bangkok. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, participant observations and field notes, from September 2006 to October 2007, and analyzed through use of content analysis. Family care practices were characterized by the phrase: “doing our best to get our child ready for surgery.” Families understood their infants may not survive and would be difficult to care for. All the infants required pharmacological management, followed by surgery, and needed weight gain and strength to withstand and recover from surgery. Families prevented their children from getting worse, as well as managed their respective infant’s care under significant constraints. Findings indicated the families’ perceptions and practices were influenced by the socio-cultural contexts, which included Buddhist teachings, cultural beliefs, financial constraints, hospital services, and support from family members and significant others. The results provided health professionals with an understanding of perspectives and practices of Thai families providing care, prior to surgery, for infants with CHD, and highlighted the context-dependent nature of family care and need for new and creative ways to provide culturally congruent professional care.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Srichantaranit, A., Chontawan, R., Yenbut, J., Ray, L. Laohaprasittiporn, D. & Wanitkun, S. (2010). Thai families' caring practices for infants with congenital heart disease prior to cardiac surgery. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 14(1), 61-78.