Parenting a child with clubfoot: a qualitative study

Marta Pietrucin-Materek*, Edwin R Van Teijlingen, Simon Barker, Karen Keenan, Zosia Miedzybrodzka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (clubfoot) is a condition affecting about one per thousand live births in Europe. Diagnosis of CTEV usually occurs through scanning in pregnancy and treatment of the child begins early after birth. The medical condition and treatment regime have an impact on the child's social environment and on family life. The aim of this qualitative study was to provide a better understanding of the psycho-social demands of parenting a child with CTEV. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 families (four joint and 11 single interviews) in the UK. We identified three key themes from participants' accounts: (a) emotions and perceptions associated with the diagnosis of CTEV; (b) parenting a child with CTEV and (c) parents' concerns about the child's future. We report that participants experienced a range of negative emotions similar to those experienced by parents of children with what are considered to be more disabling conditions. We propose that more attention should be paid by healthcare professionals to the emotional impact on parents of their child's CTEV diagnosis and treatment. More encouragement, information and support from health professionals could increase parental interest in the treatment as well as their satisfaction and will result in decreased non-compliance with treatment due to a lack of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Role of funding source
This study was part of an MSc in Health Services and Public Health Research and as such resourced by the University of Aberdeen. There was no external funding.

This research led to an MSc degree for MPM. The authors would like to thank all the parents who spoke about their experience of parenting their child with CTEV and to SPARKS for funding our research into clubfoot.


  • clubfoot
  • parenting
  • qualitative study
  • talipes
  • treatment
  • United Kingdom


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