Parental experiences of their child's vulvovaginitis: a qualitative interview study.


Nurse Education, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Vulvovaginitis is described as a common self-limiting paediatric gynaecological condition. Parents' experiences of their child being diagnosed with this condition and subsequent treatment have not previously been described.
OBJECTIVE : The aim of this study was to explore parents' experiences of their child's diagnosis and management of vulvovaginitis.
METHODS : The study was conducted in the north west of England over a two-year period. Qualitative data were generated by semistructured in-depth interviews. Mothers of nine children with vulvovaginitis consented to participate. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS : The analysis of the data resulted in four themes: trauma and uncertainty of initial symptoms, seeking a diagnosis; an uncertain journey, managing the symptoms; a process of trial and error and managing the impact; keeping it private. Parents experienced a difficult and protracted journey to their child's diagnosis and were involved in a process of trial and error to try and monitor and manage what can be a difficult ongoing condition.
CONCLUSIONS : Clinical reports suggest that vulvovaginitis is a minor childhood condition; this is not necessarily the perceptions and experiences of parents, who can experience uncertainty and ongoing difficulty after their child's diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS : The diagnosis of vulvovaginitis can have a major and ongoing impact on children's and their family's lives.


Diagnosis,Management,Parental experiences,Vulvovaginitis,

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