Support for Fathers of Children With Heart Defects

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The purpose of the study was to illuminate the meanings of the lived experiences of support as disclosed by fathers of children with congenital heart defect (CHD). Narrative interviews were conducted individually with five fathers of children diagnosed with CHD. A phenomenological-hermeneutic method was used to interpret the verbatim transcribed narrative interviews. The meanings of the lived experiences of support for the fathers were identified in two themes and illustrate the fathers' feelings of being supported when being in a mutual relationship with others. A third theme illustrates the situation when support is absent. Our findings indicate that support for fathers of children with CHD might be best promoted by the philosophy of family-centered care.

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