We can handle this: parents’ use of religion in the first year following their child’s diagnosis with cystic fibrosis
The diagnosis of a child’s life-shortening disease leads many American parents to utilize religious beliefs. Models relating religious constructs to health have been proposed. Still lacking are inductive models based on parent experience. The specific aims of this study were: 1. develop a grounded theory of parental use of religion in the year after diagnosis; 2. describe whether parents understand a relationship between their religious beliefs and their follow-through with their child’s at-home treatment regimen. Fifteen parent interviews were analyzed using grounded theory method. Parents used religion to make meaning of their child’s cystic fibrosis (CF) diagnosis. Parents imagined God as active, benevolent, and interventionist; found hope in their beliefs; felt supported by God; and related religion to their motivation to adhere to their child’s treatment plan. Religious beliefs are clinically significant in working with many parents of children recently diagnosed with CF. Interventions that improve adherence to treatment may be enhanced by including religious aspects.