Understanding the world of children and adolescents with chronic disease through esthetic knowing A qualitative study from a university hospital, Turkey
Keywords:Adolescents, esthetics, children, chronic disease, intern nurses, nursing
Aim: Chronic diseases that lead to continuous monitoring, treatment, and repeated hospitalizations could affect development
(mental, psychomotor, and language development) of children. These negative experiences undergone by children and
adolescents may affect disease management negatively. This study was conducted qualitatively with intern nurses to
understand what chronic disease means to children and adolescents with chronic diseases using esthetic knowing method.
Methods: Intern nurses (n=25) caring for children and adolescents with chronic diseases between 9 and 18 years of age
participated in the study. Intern nurses requested children and adolescents to express what it meant to have chronic diseases
through drawing, writing, poetry, etc. Focus group interviews were carried out to find out and record the experiences of
the intern nurses. Ethical approval and consent from students, children, and adolescents and their parents were obtained.
Results: Intern students noticed differences in the reactions of the children and adolescents. They described how esthetic
knowing was used as a coping method by the children, comforted them psychologically. Intern nurses stated that they
entered the internal world of the child with esthetic knowing, meant that having chronic disease was a punishment, a
family burden, dependent and different for children. They established a trust relationship and saw the children’s own weak
points. Intern nurses recommended that esthetic knowing should be included in training syllabuses, used by intern students
in practice, placed on in-service training, maybe applied to the families and used in other clinics. Conclusion: Esthetic
knowing is recommended focusing in nursing education and practice.
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