Children and adolescents living with atopic eczema: An interpretive phenomenological study with Chinese mothers

Winnie K.H. Cheung, Regina Lai Tong Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. This article is a report on a phenomenological study of Chinese mothers' experiences of caring for their children who were living with atopic eczema. Background. A mother's attitude and personality may have a direct influence on her child's adherence to treatment for atopic eczema. Thus, good communication between healthcare professionals and the mother is essential. Treatment and care should also be culturally appropriate. Methods. Using an interpretive phenomenological method, 14 interviews were conducted in Hong Kong, China from September 2007 to August 2008, with nine mothers caring for their children who were living with atopic eczema. Crist and Tanner's circular process of hermeneutic interpretive phenomenology was chosen to guide the data analysis. Findings. Mothers' coping patterns involved persistently dealing with enduring demands and seeking alternative therapies that were aimed at curing the disease. Four themes finally emerged from the data: (1) dealing with extra mothering, (2) giving up their life, (3) becoming an expert and (4) living with blame and worry. Mothers' coping patterns involved persistently finding ways to relieve their children's suffering with the aim of curing the disease and dealing with their own emotions related to the frustration resulting from giving up their life and living with blame and worry. Conclusion. The study findings provide nurses with an empathic insight into mothers' feelings and the enduring demands of caring for children with atopic eczema, and help nurses to develop culturally sensitive interventions, reinforce positive coping strategies, increase family function and improve health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2247-2255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012


  • Atopic eczema
  • Children
  • Chinese mothers
  • Interpretive phenomenology
  • Nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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