Parents of Children With Newly Diagnosed Disorders of Sex Development Identify Major Concerns: A Qualitative Study.
OBJECTIVES: To develop a conceptual framework to understand and define the impact of DSD diagnosis and management from the perspective of parents of recently diagnosed children. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of children diagnosed with 46 XX, 46 XY, or chromosomal DSD including complete or partial androgen insensitivity, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or 5-alpha reductase deficiency. Analysis was completed using content analysis with an inductive approach by three coders. RESULTS: Parents of 6 patients agreed to be interviewed, consistent with saturation points for prior similar studies; a total of 16 recurring themes were identified which were further grouped by similarity and categorized into 1 of 3 meta-themes: a) personal impact (effect of diagnosis on parents psyche, happiness, gender/sexual identity, anatomic function, mental health), b) family impact (relationships with parents/siblings, parental guilt); and c) societal impact (bullying, need for secrecy, future desirability, societal openness to DSD individuals). CONCLUSIONS: Personal, family, and societal concerns amongst parents following a DSD diagnosis have significant potential psychosocial impacts for both parents as well children. The nexus between these categories provides a framework for approaching diagnosis and management of DSD and has implications for patients, families, and clinicians. Improved resource allocation, education, and clinical tools conceived through this framework may considerably alleviate potent psychosocial stressors for parents of children born with DSD.
Boucher, NA; Alkazemi, MH; Tejwani, R; Routh, JC
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