Introduction: Excessive crying and fussiness in infants is a complaint commonly presented to healthcare professionals such as chiropractors. Clinicians that gain an understanding of this personal experience will be able to take an effective biopsychosocial approach to the treatment and the management of these cases.
Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the personal experiences of parents coping with infants that cry excessively with a goal to further improve the management of these pediatric cases.
Method: The study was an explorative study that used a qualitative design. Six mothers who presented to the AECC University College outpatient clinic with their infants, less than 6 months old who cried excessively were interviewed. The chiropractic impression and diagnosis of the
cases were similar and there was no other serious diagnosis given alongside the excessive crying in any case. Oneto-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participating mothers. Tapes of the interviews were transcribed as a dialogue and then thematically analyzed.
Results: Four main themes emerged. These were: (1) how the lives of the mothers were disrupted by the crying, (2)the emotional fatigue experienced by the mothers, (3) the sense of failure that was present at some point during the experience and (4) the support that the mothers did or did not receive.
Conclusion: This study was able to gain insight into the lived experience of mothers with crying babies. The results show that the whole experience is very difficult and can be quite distressing for those involved. A biopsychosocial approach to the management would be beneficial to the mothers to give them some needed support.
Author keywords: Biopsychosocial model/approach, Colic, Excessive crying, Postnatal depression, Qualitative research
Author affiliations: JO: Private practice, UK; JM: AECC University College, Bournemouth, England
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