More than 600,000 children in the United States live at home dependent on medical technology such as feeding tubes, oxygen, or ventilators to stay alive. Parents (most often mothers) provide their care, which requires constant monitoring, hard work, and focus that can be very stressful. Despite the significant stress parent caregivers of technology-dependent children face, few research studies have explored ways to reduce their stress.
Two research studies currently being conducted by Dr. Valerie Toly and her research team are exploring a stress-reduction method for parent caregivers of technology-dependent children called Resourcefulness Training© (Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, 1995). The goal of the intervention is to reduce stress and improve psychological and physical health outcomes over time by providing self-help and help-seeking skills.
Information gained from these studies will help researchers and clinicians to better understand the significance of the stress that parent caregivers of technology-dependent children experience and what strategies may help to reduce it. This information can be used in the future to improve the health outcomes of technology-dependent children and their parent caregivers.