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|Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
|A grounded theory study of dream fulfilment in children and young people with life-threatening and long-term conditions and their families
|University of Stirling
|Background: This thesis examines the impact of dream or wish fulfilment on seriously ill children and their families. Dream or wish fulfilment is operationalised as the actualisation of a seriously ill child’s wish by a charity that provides desired experiences. Anecdotal reports suggest that the experience of having a dream or a wish fulfilled can provide seriously ill children and their families with a sense of hope and time away from illness. However, little empirical research has been conducted in this area. This thesis reports the impact of dream fulfilment on the psychosocial well-being of ill children and their families. The research questions are: what is the experience of having a dream fulfilled for the child? What is the impact of dream fulfilment on the family? Methods: A constructivist grounded theory methodology was adopted, using theoretical sampling to recruit families from across the UK. Twenty-one families were interviewed, including 15 dream recipients, 8 siblings, and 24 parents. Analysis followed the grounded theory methodology of simultaneous data collection and development of theory, resulting in analytic interpretations of participants’ worlds. Results and Conclusions: This thesis reports for the first time a theory and accompanying theoretical model, that explain the impact of dream fulfilment on families’ lives. The generated theory suggests that dream fulfilment was conceptualised as an alternative milestone in seriously ill children and their families’ lives. Additionally, the dream experience shifted perceptions of illness by providing instances and experiences where illness did not underscore family life. Findings additionally suggest that the dream fulfilment process provided families with ill children, who often felt excluded and stigmatised from services, with a period of much needed support. Findings also highlight the unintended negative consequences of dream fulfilment. Implications for Dreams Come True, and other dream and wish fulfilment organisations are discussed.
|Thesis or Dissertation
|thesis final draft 1505.pdf
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