Current Content
Volume 33, Number 3
May/June 2007

Continuing Nursing Education
Pilot Study of Low-Income Parents' Perspectives of Managing Asthma in High-Risk Infants and Toddlers
Karel Koenig

This pilot study describes the challenges low-income parents face in managing asthma in their infants and toddlers who are at high risk of morbidity due to asthma. Five families of children younger than 3 years and recently hospitalized for asthma were interviewed from 1 to 5 times and asked to give narratives about the everyday management of asthma in their high risk infants and toddlers. Interpretive phenomenology was used as the method to describe parents' perspectives on managing the illness. The parents, all single mothers, struggled to manage asthma in crowded conditions, with limited transportation for frequently needed emergency care, and in face of the complicating needs of other children and family members. Not knowing then knowing the diagnosis, and provider availability and lack of availability were two dichotomous challenges mothers faced when managing asthma in their very young children.