Living with and managing seizures among parents of children diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid syndrome a qualitative study using in-depth interviews
To describe the experience of parents of children diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS) in relation to epileptic seizures and/or convulsions, their daily management and impact on family life. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. The study included parents of children diagnosed with PMS by a medical specialist. Purposive sampling was used, and data were collected via in-depth interviews. A thematic analysis was performed on the data. This study was conducted according to the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research. Thirty-two parents were recruited. Four themes were identified: (a) the first epileptic seizure, where the first seizure appears abruptly and unexpectedly; (b) living with seizures, seizures generate high concern about the evolution of the disease and the future of children with PMS; (c) treatment of epileptic seizures, obtaining an adequate treatment is a long process that involves decision making by parents; (d) the impact of epilepsy on the family, where there is a change in the functioning and relationships among family members. Conclusions: It is necessary to develop programs where parents can discuss treatment decisions with professionals and provide coping strategies for the management of epilepsy and seizures.
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