Spirituality as a Coping Resource for Parents with a Child with Chronic Illness

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MCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing


PURPOSE: To examine spirituality as a coping resource for a sample of African American parents who have a child with a chronic condition.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Descriptive correlation design with a sample of 168 African American parents. Parents completed a demographic questionnaire, the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIP), the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scale (F-COPES), and the spirituality subscale of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Measurement System (FACIT-Sp-12). Data were analyzed with frequency distributions and Pearson product moment correlations.

RESULTS: Most frequently reported positive coping patterns included "believing in God," "doing things with my children," "believing that my child is getting the best medical care," and "having faith in God." Most frequent coping resources included "having faith in God," "seeking information from the family doctor," and "showing that we are strong." Results revealed a significant positive correlation between positive parental coping patterns and spirituality.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: It is important for nurses to recognize ethnic and cultural aspects of coping and spirituality, and design and implement care measures that support spirituality among families with a child with special healthcare needs.