Objective: To gain an insight into everyday life and the struggles of an ADHD child as perceived by their mothers.
Design: A phenomenological qualitative study.
Subjects: Inclusion criteria: mothers of ADHD sufferers being treated or having been treated at the Kasper Andresen (KA) clinic in Oslo, Norway for ADHD or ADHD and Tourette's; these conditions being the sole reason for treatment. The patient had to have been treated for a period of at least 2 months. Five mothers with a total of six children with ADHD took part of the study. The drop out rate was zero.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out, tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. These were then thematically analysed by two phases: open coding and axial coding, resulting in the production of the core themes.
Results: From the analysis five main themes emerged: the dispute about the use of medication and how the mothers feel that medication use should be the last resort; the importance of family structure; mother's perception of lack of support from the health and educational system; patient satisfaction with Dr Andresen's work; and the use of IM.
Conclusion: These findings suggests that, according to the mothers, there are two key factors in the process of treating ADHD children that may not have been assessed thoroughly enough by the health system in Norway in general; these are the importance of applying the biopsychosocial model in the health care system and the reported effect of the IM.
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