A qualitative study of parental perceptions, beliefs, and experiences when making decision regarding physical activity for children with asthma
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This thesis presents the findings of a qualitative, phenomenological study of the lived experiences of parents of children with asthma when making decisions regarding physical activity. The perceptions and beliefs of parents in relation to physical activity and the physical environment were also explored. Eight parents of children with asthma between the ages of five to twelve years old participated in this study. Within the verbatim transcripts of the in-depth interviews four major themes emerged. Parents acknowledged the importance of physical activity and its role in promoting the health and well-being of their children with asthma. Although parents experienced worry and fear in relation to their child’s asthma, parents felt that through good asthma management and communication they are able to normalize living with asthma and support their children’s participation in physical activity. Parents considered the physical environment when making decisions regarding physical activity; parents were aware of environmental factors which could trigger or exacerbate their child’s asthma symptoms during physical activity. The knowledge constructed in this study suggests that for parents of children with asthma, having asthma did not influence parents to restrict their children’s participation in physical activity. Instead, parents worked to minimize asthma symptoms which may arise during physical activity. These findings have implications for healthcare professionals to work with parents to further solidify their stance on the beneficial role of physical activity for children with asthma.