Motivations and Features of Co-Parenting an Infant With Complex Congenital Heart Disease

Karen Pridham, Tondi M. Harrison, Anne Chevalier McKechnie, Roger Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study described co-parenting motivations and quality of co-parenting features for parents of infants with complex congenital heart disease (CCHD), including differences over time by illness severity. Existing transcripts of parenting experience at infant age 1 and 12 months for 23 parent couples were analyzed using directed content analysis. Data were quantitized for additional description. Six co-parenting motivations and five co-parenting features were identified. Two co-parenting motivations had not been previously described: Developing the Co-Parenting Relationship and Maintaining the Couple Relationship. Variability in quality of co-parenting features was evident. However, the majority of parents showed high ratings. Motivations and quality of co-parenting features changed over time and were related to illness severity. Our findings increase the understanding of what parents are working on as a couple to parent an infant with CCHD and the quality of this co-parenting. Several questions for further study are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1130
Number of pages21
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the parents who participated in this study; staff members of the Herma Heart Center of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Margarete Sandelowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, for her input on the manuscript; and Mary Krolikowski, MSN, RN, and Kathleen Mussatto, PhD, RN, for their contributions to the project. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported with funds from the Herma Heart Center, the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation; The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing Florence Blake Fund and the Helen Denne Schulte Fund; the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Grant UL1TR000427 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and the National Institute of Nursing Research, Grant 5R03NR9272-2 to the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s) 2017.


  • caregivers
  • chronic illness
  • co-parenting
  • congenital heart disease
  • parenting


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