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Paper Details

Perception of parents whose children have rheumatic heart disease at a referral hospital, Kenya

Myra Koech, Titus Ngeno

Journal Title:Basic Research Journal of Medicine and Clinical Science

Objectives; Rheumatic heart disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa, especially amongst the young population. This paper set out to explore the views of parents whose children have rheumatic heart disease, in regard to their experiences in taking care of the affected child and its overall effect on their families. Study design; Focused group discussion. Methods; This was a study carried out at the Moi teaching and referral hospital, pediatrics cardiology clinic between October 2011 to October 2012.Ten parents comprising five mothers and five fathers of different children were randomly selected from a pool of telephone records of patients with rheumatic heart disease and were attending the pediatric clinic. Two separate focused groups comprising fathers and mothers were formed and piloted open ended questions were used to conduct the discussion. Results; Living with a child who has rheumatic heart disease causes financial difficulties and uncertainities,and parents are unable to afford the cost of surgery. The genesis of rheumatic heart disease is not well understood and there is a constant fear of the childs impending death. Conclusions; For children with already set in rheumatic heart disease , subsidies for surgical care needs to be provided immediately so as to avoid complications and the chronicity associated with uncorrected rheumatic heart disease. Families need psychological support upon diagnosis of a child with rheumatic heart disease. Keywords: rheumatic heart disease, parental perceptions, referral hospital