The cultural context of care-giving: Qualitative accounts from South Asian parents who care for a child with intellectual disabilities in the UK

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Purpose: This study aims to explore the cultural context of care-giving amongst South Asian communities caring for a child with intellectual disabilities in the United Kingdom. Design/methodology/approach: In the context of the United Kingdom's Children's Intellectual Disability Services, the study set out to develop a culturally sensitive account of Sikh and Muslim parents' experiences of caring for a child with intellectual disabilities. Focus groups were conducted with parents from Sikh and Muslim support groups who were all accessing intellectual disability services for their children. Transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, a qualitative technique. Findings: Three master themes emerged from the analysis which were: Making sense of the disability; Feeling let down by services and Looking to the future. These themes reinforce findings from previous research particularly in relation to difficulties when making sense of the disabilities and difficult interactions with services. Practical implications: The study makes recommendations for service delivery to ethnic minority groups including being aware of intra-group variations in the interpretations and responses of South Asian parents. Originality/value: Ultimately, the study makes recommendations for developing culturally sensitive support and interventions for ethnic minority groups which is important given the increase in multi-ethnic populations in the UK.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012