Parents of children with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) face numerous psychosocial challenges. An increased understanding and awareness of these stressors can ensure better overall outcomes for the entire family. We conducted semi-structured, in-person interviews with ten parents to identify psychosocial stressors, strategies, and supports they utilized to overcome their challenges. Our interview guide was designed to elicit familial experiences during the pre- and post-diagnosis periods. The themes and sub-themes were identified through qualitative descriptive textual analysis of audio-recorded transcripts. Major themes identified include ambiguity of illness, changing family and spousal dynamics, and navigating the healthcare system. Sub-themes revolved around disease effects, psychological stressors, health systems, support, and facing the disease. Healthcare professionals have an opportunity to minimize the impact of negative emotional outcomes by assisting families as they navigate the experience of having a child with an IEM. Our findings can be used to develop and continue a more well-rounded, family-oriented framework for IEM management.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/narayan-prasad/5/