Application to practice
Abbreviations:AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), CP (Cerebral Palsy), KATH (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital)
- Browne E.
- Miller F.
Methodology and methods
The research context /study setting
Inclusion criteria/exclusion criteria
Data collection: semi-structured interviews
Data analysis: narrative thematic analysis
The restitution narrative
“We (family members) realised it when she was above 4 months. I know that from 2 months a child should start to sit and she should have mastered sitting when she is above 4 months and can, therefore, sit on her own but her situation was different. We tried sitting her, but she found it difficult doing it.”.…. Margaret (grandmother).
“They referred me to the x-ray department to have a picture of her neck. They told me they would send the x-ray results to me on my phone when the results were in” …. Betty (mother).
“The doctors said it would take a long time before her neck would become stable. They also said her sitting, crawling, walking and talking would delay and these are also obvious on the child” …Kennedy (father).
“We followed their treatment regimen because we wanted the child to get well soon so we continued going to the hospital for the exercises” …. Mary (grandmother).
“We have been going for physiotherapy till now but still we have not seen any improvement. There have been many times that we don't send him for treatment because we don't see an improvement. Sometimes we feel like stopping this physiotherapy treatment thing altogether” …Natasha (Grandmother).
“Mmm, yes, I remember we took her to one woman herbalist who is also a pastor. That woman through her herbs was able to make the child sit on her own. I guess if we had gone to the woman earlier, the child would be walking by now. So it is that woman that made the child sit on her own. Yea…Emelia (Grandmother).
“Most of the time, we the parents who have children with this condition go behind the health professionals to seek help from other people as they discourage seeking alternative help. You often meet people who would tell you, ‘I have encountered someone who had a child with this same condition and directed him to a man who helped him. I think if you go to see that man, he will be able to help your child as well’. So, we go behind health professionals to see herbalists for help very often” …. Arthur (Father).
“We gave him to some herbalist to take care of the child and cure his condition but whatever the herbalist tried brought no results. Many herbalists have taken huge amounts of money from us and gave us assurances that the child would be cured but they couldn't restore the child to health” …. Peter (Grandfather).
“I am convinced that the herbalists have their part to play and the trained doctors in the various hospitals also have their part. You can be passed through various screening and scanning machines at the hospital for them to know what exactly is happening in your body, but the native doctors do not do these scanning and screenings. So, I believe taking herbs and going to the hospital walk hand in hand and this means that whiles visiting the native herbalists for herbs or leaves you must also visit the hospital as well.” …Samson (grandfather).
Hope for cure and the restitution narrative
Intransitive hope for cure
“He is very active. Whenever I lay him down on a mat to exercise him, he makes some appreciable efforts to get up on his own. This gives me the hope that he will soon walk and be independent. The child will walk no matter his circumstances” …. Fanny (sibling).
“Though I have been told [by health professionals] my child would not walk again but I still believe in my heart that he will walk one day. Sometimes in the night, you would see him lifting his arms and feet whiles stretching himself at the same time on his mat. I would be stealing glances at him at such times, and It would make me feel that the child will rise one day and walk. I know he is going to walk one day” …. Nancy (mother).
They [other people] always encourage me to continue taking care of the child and that he is going to get well. They think the child will get well so they continue to encourage me …. Florence (mother).
Transcendent hope for cure
“God also knows when this child will get well. So, everything is in the hands of God now. We know that with time, God would be able to heal him, and our brother might improve and eventually walk” …. Leah (sibling).
“Now I have also come to know that there is no humanly possible cure for cerebral palsy, so I always ask God in my prayers to heal my son. I pray every day, petitioning God to change my son's condition and restore him to proper health” …. Arthur (father).
“The book of Mark in the Bible, chapter 10 verse 46 says that Bartimaeus was blind. When one day Jesus was passing by, he used his mouth to shout for help from Jesus. People tried to shut him up but he continued shouting. He kept on shouting until Jesus heard and healed him. Like Bartimaeus we know our child would be well with the help of God” ……Kennedy (father).
“I tell him that God loves him and that his life is going to be a testimony to the whole world. I tell him to keep in mind that God loves him deeply. I tell him to keep in mind that he will one day testify of what he went through as a child but was healed by God in front of a huge crowd and his testimony will draw many people to God. Ernestina (mother).
“We organise some prayer camps in the church I attend so when the times are due, I send him there to be prayed for. So gradually, God has listened to our prayers and the child is able to walk and talk a little” …. Abraham (father).
“I have been taking him for prayers [at different churches] till now. They tell us at such places that he would walk and talk. These are men of God and they are spiritual people, so when they tell you things like this, you cannot doubt it”. Mary (grandmother).
Implications for practice
Recommendations for further research
Strengths and limitations of the study
Credit author statement
- 1.Conceptualisation: The research Ideas and formulation of research goals were done by the Principal author: Dr. Emmanuel Asante
- 2.Methodology: The methodology was developed and written by Dr. Emmanuel Asante with guidance from Prof. Joanne Lymn and Dr. Claire Diver
- 3.Data analysis: Dr. Emmanuel Asante conducted the data analysis
- 4.Supervision: Prof. Joanne Lymn and Dr. Claire Diver supervised the research and related write-ups
- 5.Validation: all validation processes were done by Prof. Joanne Lymn and Dr. Claire Diver as Thesis supervisors
- 6.Resources: library resources and online databases were made accessible by the University of Nottingham with recommendations from Prof. Joanne Lymn and Dr. Claire Diver as Supervisors
- 7.Writing-Original Draft: Dr. Emmanuel Asante wrote the original draft
- 8.Writing-Review and Editing: Prof. Joanne Lymn and Dr. Claire Diver reviewed and edited the article
Declaration of Competing Interest
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