Current Content
Volume 34, Number 3
May/June 2008

Continuing Nursing Education
Cybersupport: Empowering Asthma Caregivers
Claire F. Sullivan

In the United States, an estimated 6.5 million children have asthma (Akinbami, 2005). Due to the chronic and unpredictable nature of asthma, the condition places excessive demands on the primary caregiver. The complexity of asthma management has required parents to take increased responsibility for the assessment and treatment of their child’s asthma (Dickinson & Dignam, 2002). Many families are turning to the Internet for information and support. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the “lived” experiences of an online asthma caregivers support group. Archived messages posted to an online discussion list were analyzed using phenomenological thematic analysis. Five themes emerged providing insight into the meaning of caregiving and the provision of social support. Online support narratives provide a unique way to gain insight and understanding of the experiences of mother’s enacting the caregiver role. Understanding the everyday lives of asthma caregivers can help nurses and other health care providers better meet caregiver needs.