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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 541241, 7 pages
Research Article

The Unsteady Mainstay of the Family: Now Adult Children’s Retrospective View on Social Support in Relation to Their Parent’s Heart Transplantation

1Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
3Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, 221 85 Lund, Sweden
4Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery/THAI, Skåne University Hospital and Medical Services, 221 85 Lund, Sweden
5School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, 551 11 Jönköping, Sweden

Received 2 July 2014; Revised 6 October 2014; Accepted 14 October 2014; Published 6 November 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Helena Palucci Marziale

Copyright © 2014 Susanna Ågren et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The needs for support among children with a seriously ill parent, who is waiting for heart transplantation, are unknown today. The aim was to describe now adult children’s experiences of social support in relation to a parent’s heart transplant during childhood. Nine females and four males were interviewed. The median age for the children was 18 at the transplantation and their parents had been ill before for 18 months (median) and on waiting list for 161 days (mean). Three categories emerged: health care professionals’ approaches, family and friends’ approaches, and society approaches. Our results show that there was lack of support for children of heart transplantation patients. Support in the shape of information was in most cases provided by the sick or healthy parent. It is of great clinical importance to develop psychosocial support programs for children with a seriously ill parent waiting for heart transplantation (before, during, and after surgery).