Objective: To establish the value of an
early intervention programme designed for families of children with Down Syndrome.
Method: The present study adopted a
qualitative research design in keeping with the principles of Grounded Theory
through the use of a semi-structured interview strategy and coding techniques.
Six parents who had completed the programme participated in the study.
Main results: The participants collectively viewed the programme as “a learning experience”,
and in particular valued the social aspect of the programme. Some parents spoke
of perceived barriers which contributed to a potentially negative experience,
such as lack of information. Furthermore, the importance of collaboration
between parents and professionals echoed throughout the present study.
Conclusion: This paper enhances our current understanding of parents’
experiences of early intervention programmes and, in turn, highlights various
factors which may positively impact on or detract from caregivers’ experiences
of healthcare services.
Key words: Early intervention, service-user perspective, social model of care,
family-centred practice, outcome measurement