• Mary Grace B. Baron Cardiac Sonographer, My Health Clinic, Cebu City, Philippines
  • Alain Kenneth S. Ragay Faculty of Nursing, Cebu Normal University, Philippines


A mother’s love for her child knows no limit. Her role as a primary caregiver depicts her genuine love to her child when it comes to health-related issues especially the involvement of a vital organ such as the heart. This situation is alarming to the mother since the child would manifest dyspnea and a murmur called “Gibson’s murmur” which may be heard using a stethoscope. This type of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). It is the sixth most common CHD and unsuccessful closure of PDA appeared to be dangerous which raised a mortality rate of 70% in contrast with 11% infants who underwent an effective closure. This study utilized the qualitative phenomenological design particularly Husserlian phenomenology. The research was conducted in Cebu, Philippines. Purposive and snowball sampling technique were utilized by means of referral by a pediatric cardiologist. There were 10 Key Informants and their real names were not used in observance of their privacy and confidentiality. Prior to the conduct of the study, the researcher underwent bracketing of ideas, opinions and biases to prevent undesirable effects in the research process. Before the actual interview, the tool was pilot tested to three key informants with a child who underwent operation for the treatment of CHD. The study used a researcher-made, semi-structured interview guide and open-ended questions were utilized. One on one interview was implemented by the researcher in their preferred place. Consent was given voluntarily by the key informants and without coercion. The researcher followed the steps of analysis as proposed by Colaizzi. A scheduled follow-up appointment was made by the researcher and key informants for the validation of results. The clustered themes were: (1) Agony: a struggle before operation; Sub-theme 1: Fear of the unknown; Sub-theme 2: Sadness and Denial; Subtheme 3: Financial challenge: a difficult task; Sub-theme 4: Caring challenges; (2) Ambivalence: a mixed feelings during operation; (3) Alleviation; a mother’s relief after operation; (4) Altruism: a selfless love; and (5) Adaptation: internal and external support; Sub-theme 1: Prayer: the powerful key to coping; Sub-theme 2: Financial support; and Sub-theme 3: Social support.   

Keywords: PDA, Altruism, Adaptation, Descriptive Phenomenology, Qualitative Research, Colaizzi


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How to Cite
Mary Grace B. Baron, & Alain Kenneth S. Ragay. (2020). FROM AGONY TO ADAPTATION: JOURNEY OF MOTHERS AS PRIMARY CAREGIVER FOR THEIR CHILDREN WITH PDA . The Malaysian Journal of Nursing, 11(4), 20-40. Retrieved from