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G229 What mothers do when there is a child with autism and younger siblings in the family: the implementation of the findings of a doctoral study, into a heuristic for the continuous improvement of service user family experience
  1. OS Watt,
  2. O Barr,
  3. SM O’Neill
  1. School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Derry, UK


Aim The purpose of this abstract is to;

  • Present the results of a qualitative research study exploring the experiences of mothers of children with autism and other younger siblings,

  • Present the conceptual framework emerging from the results of this research study, which have informed a heuristic, values based model for health and social care service delivery improvement to families raising children with autism and other continuing care needs,

  • Introduce this children and young people’s rights and values based model, in terms of it’s implementation, in the form of a new charitable, membership organisation (Parent Action), which is being developed in Northern Ireland.

Methods In the doctoral research study which is the subject of this abstract, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used as methodology and method to explore the experiences of six mothers in Northern Ireland.

Eighteen semi structured interviews were carried out with the mothers, three with each mother over a twelve month data collection period. Each interview was four to six months apart and all interviews were carried out in the mother’s own homes.

Data analysis was carried out on a continuous basis by the researcher, using critical reflection techniques to support the use of the six steps of IPA.

Results Data analysis resulted in six themes of mothers experience, namely; ‘Children’s Development’; ‘Mother’s Expertise’; ‘Balancing’; Mothers Resilience and Adaptation’; ‘Mothers Confidence’; ‘Trusted Social Relationships’. The connetions and patterns between these themes, across all six mothers experience, comprise the study conceptual framework.

Conclusion The results of this research have been developed into a children’s rights and values based model, which is forming the basis of activities of parent and organisation members of Parent Action. This Parent Action model is represented below.

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