Parental anxiety associated with Kawasaki disease in previously healthy children

J Pediatr Health Care. Jul-Aug 2010;24(4):250-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Sep 17.


Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the lived experience of parents of children diagnosed with Kawasaki disease (KD) and to identify factors associated with increased levels of parental anxiety.

Study design: Three focus groups were conducted including 25 parents of 17 patients with KD, seven (41%) of whom had coronary artery complications. A conceptual model was developed to depict parental experiences and illustrate the key issues related to heightened anxiety.

Results: Themes identified included anxiety related to the child's sudden illness and delay in obtaining a correct diagnosis because of the lack of health care providers' awareness and knowledge regarding KD. Parents were frustrated by the lack of information available in lay language and the limited scientific knowledge regarding the long-term consequences of the disease. Parents also reported positive transformations and different perspective toward challenges in life. However, the parents of children with coronary artery complications expressed persistent anxiety even years after the acute phase of the illness due to the uncertainty of the long-term prognosis.

Conclusions: There remains a critical need for richly textured research data on the perspective and experience of families of children with KD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety*
  • Child
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*