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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of an education program for parents of children with chronic health problems or disabilities McLean, Ethel Lynda


This study used a quasi-experimental design to determine the effectiveness of a Parent Education Program (PEP) (Canam,1990) in increasing parental coping, family functioning, and utilization of resources, for parents of children with chronic health problems or disabilities. Twenty-eight parents (20 mothers and 8 fathers) of children with a variety of chronic conditions participated in a 16 hour structured educational program based on the common adaptive tasks facing parents when their child has a chronic condition. Quantitative data we recollected using the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIP), the Family Environment Scale (FES), and the Family Inventory for Resources Management (FIRM) questionnaires. These tools were administered to the 28 participants one week before and after program completion. Data were analyzed by applying paired t-tests and an ANOVA to the subjects' pre/post-test mean scores. Results demonstrated that mothers' overall parental coping, family functioning, and utilization of resources increased, and fathers' parental coping and family functioning improved post-intervention. To augment the quantitative findings, nine follow-up interviews with randomly selected program participants were conducted and content analyses were applied to these data. Results demonstrated a change in mothers' coping to one of "sharing the responsibility or burden of care" for their child with the chronic condition, a more active family recreational orientation, and parent recommendations for future programs. These recommendations included: program participation commence 6 months to one year post-diagnosis; marital dyads attend together when possible; and both general and specific diagnostic group PEP options be available on an ongoing basis.

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