Dress to impress: parents’ fears of allegations of fabricated induced illness in cases when their child has Mitochondrial disease - exploring the voices of MITO Families Ireland
Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork
This study explores parents’ fears of fabricated induced illness in their children who suffer from a mitochondrial disease. The paper will focus on understanding and appreciating the many concerns associated to parenting a child who suffers from a rare life limiting disease, an exploration of the role social work has played in their lives is also a focus of this research. The fear of false allegations of fabricated induced illness exacerbates the complexities already involved in parenting a child with a rare disease. The research implemented small-scale qualitative interviews with three mothers from the collaborating community group ‘Mito Families Ireland’. The qualitative method enabled a through and descriptive review of the issues parents experience when their child has a mitochondrial disease. The absence of literature further complicates the area, thus it was essential to utilise primary research methods which gave in-depth analysis of such a complex and contested area for parents and professionals alike. The results paint a negative portrayal of social work, as well as the parent-professional relationship when a mitochondrial disease is involved. Furthermore, the parents highlight the role of social work whilst describing its perception amongst parents in contemporary Ireland. An emerging theme provided the inspiration for the title of this paper, where the notion of ‘power dressing’ was both a unique yet fascinating insight into the parent-professional dynamic. A variety of recommendations were offered in concluding the paper, where the implications for social work practice were briefly outlined. It is envisaged these recommendations may inform policy and practice moving forward.
Fabricated induced illness , Fears of allegations , Mitochondrial disease , MITO Families Ireland , Rare life limiting disease , Absence of literature , Negative portrayal of social work , Parent-professional relationship
O’Sullivan, P. (2018) Dress to impress: parents’ fears of allegations of fabricated induced illness in cases when their child has Mitochondrial disease - exploring the voices of MITO Families Ireland. Cork: Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork.
©2018, Phil O’Sullivan.