UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing launches website that assists families of children with chronic conditions

Website synthesizes data from thousands of studies to help families, care providers and researchers

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – August 12, 2015) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing announced today the launch of a new website that will assist families of children with chronic conditions. Aimed at providing practical tools and resources for health care providers and researchers, the website synthesizes data from more than one thousand studies investigating the intersection between family life and childhood chronic physical conditions.

Nearly one in five children under the age of eighteen has a chronic physical condition (CPC) requiring more medical treatment than their peers and increasing the risk of problems related to emotional or behavioral development and function. Research has consistently shown that family variables play a role in the adjustment of affected children, and that families caring for an affected child can likewise be at risk. The website provides healthcare practitioners a one-stop resource for evidence-based clinical interventions for families dealing with CPCs, as well as a valuable tool for future inquiry by healthcare researchers studying CPCs.

“We are thrilled to be at this stage of the project,” said Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN, Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor at UNC, and co-leader of the project. “After many years of disentangling what we really know about these issues, we can now offer practical clinical assistance to healthcare providers, their patients and families, as well as provide a tremendous resource for fellow researchers in this important area. There’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment in that.”

The project and resulting website was made possible through The Family Synthesis Project, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. The project began at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing in 2011 and was designed to mine and synthesize the full body of empirical research related to issues surrounding the family life of those dealing with CPCs, and to identify methods for improving the outcomes of both affected children and their families.

The Project is now working on publicizing the website and its resources to clinicians and researchers who can benefit from them.