Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ling, J. Payne, S. Connaire, K. and McCarron, M. 2016. Parental decision-making on utilisation of out-of-home respite in children's palliative care: findings of qualitative case study research - a proposed new model. Child: Care, Health and Development, Vol. 42, Issue. 1, p. 51.

    Coad, Jane Kaur, Jasveer Ashley, Nicky Owens, Christopher Hunt, Anne Chambers, Lizzie and Brown, Erica 2015. Exploring the Perceived Met and Unmet Need of Life-Limited Children, Young People and Families. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Vol. 30, Issue. 1, p. 45.

    Price, Jayne and Nicholl, Honor 2013. Interviewing Parents for Qualitative Research Studies: Using an ABCD Model to Manage the Sensitivities and Issues. Child Care in Practice, Vol. 19, Issue. 2, p. 199.

    Wray, Jo Lindsay, Bruce Crozier, Kenda Andrews, Lauren and Leeson, Janet 2013. Exploring perceptions of psychological services in a children's hospice in the United Kingdom. Palliative and Supportive Care, Vol. 11, Issue. 05, p. 373.

    Price, Jayne Jordan, Joanne Prior, Lindsay and Parkes, Jackie 2011. Living through the death of a child: A qualitative study of bereaved parents’ experiences. International Journal of Nursing Studies, Vol. 48, Issue. 11, p. 1384.


The lived experience of parenting a child with a life-limiting condition: A focus on the mental health realm

  • Alison Rodriguez (a1) and Nigel King (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2009

As medical technology has improved, there has been a marked increase in the numbers of children with life-limiting conditions being managed in the community. Few studies have evaluated the life worlds of the parents of these children. However, there have been studies that have reported feelings of isolation and depression among mothers. This article reports a study that highlights the mental health implications of the lived experience of parenting a child with a life-limiting condition.


Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 parents of children with life-limiting conditions and analyzed using a phenomenological method.


The essential meaning of the phenomenon “the lived experience of parenting a child with a life limiting condition” is understood as a full-time emotional struggle involving six continuous constituents: inner drive, feeling responsible, psychological effects, threatened self image, social withdrawal, and a fear of reaching the bottom line.

Significance of results:

Very little clinical attention is focused upon the wider issues that affect parents dealing with caring for a child with a life-limiting condition.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alison Rodriguez, Department of Behavioural Sciences, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH, United Kingdom. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

F. Andrews & P. Hood (2003). Shared care: Hospital, hospice and home. Peadiatric Nursing, 15, 2022.

N.C. Frank , R.T. Brown , R.L. Blaint , & V. Bunke (2001). Predictors of affective response of mothers and fathers of children with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 10, 293304.

R. Harding & I. Higginson (2003). What is the best way to help caregivers in cancer and palliative care? A systematic literature review of interventions and their effectiveness. Palliative Medicine, 17, 6374.

A.F. Patenaude & B. Last (2001). Cancer and children: Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Psycho-oncology, 10, 281283.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Palliative & Supportive Care
  • ISSN: 1478-9515
  • EISSN: 1478-9523
  • URL: /core/journals/palliative-and-supportive-care
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *