Date of Award

2004-05-01

Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Susan L. Instone, DNSc, RN, CPNP, Chairperson; Diane C. Hatton, DNSc, RN, CS; Allen J. Orsi, Ph.D., RN

Keywords

children & youth, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, families & family life, nursing, Taiwanese

Abstract

A cross-sectional study was designed to determine the factors with functioning among Taiwanese families with a child having Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This research investigated the level of a child's mobility upon family hardiness, functioning, and support from a family perspective. A total sample of 126 of participants was parents of children with DMD. Parents completed basic demographic information, the Family Assessment Device, Family Hardiness Index, Duke Health Profile, and Family APGAR. Pearson Correlation Coefficient test was performed to examine relationships between independent and dependent variables. To determine if the levels of child's mobility, family characteristics, family hardiness, family health, and family support had significant impact on the dependent variable (family functioning), the Hierarchical Multiple Regression Model indicated four variables significantly contributed to the variance in family functioning: access to care (age when diagnose with DMD), family hardiness, family health, and family support. The model as a whole explained 68% of variance in family functioning (R2 = .679, F (4,121) = 64.08, p = .00). Beta coefficients indicated that the later children were diagnosed with DMD and the lower the parental scores on family hardiness, family health, and family support (less support) were related to poorer family functioning after controlling for the variable differences. This study revealed that the earlier children are detected with DMD, the greater the likelihood their families will have greater hardiness, health, and support, all of which contribute to healthy family functioning. In addition, family hardiness and family support were predictors of family health and the age when the children were diagnosed with DMD and family support were the predictors of family hardiness. The results suggest that health professionals encountering children with early signs of DMD should urged their families to promptly seek evaluation, treatment, and the social support services available to DMD children and their families in Taiwan.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access

Department

Nursing

Included in

Nursing Commons

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