The Power of Dreams study: My first post of 2015!
It feels like a really long time since I last updated here, and looking back at the last entry, I can see that it was! So much has happened with the project since July, and I thought I’d just tell you a bit about what's been happening recently.
Hi everyone, and thanks for taking the time to come back and read our update on the Power of Dreams. It feels like a really long time since I last updated here, and looking back at the last entry, I can see that it was! So much has happened with the project since July, and I thought I’d just tell you a bit about that.
Since I my presentation at the European Association for Palliative Care conference I finished my fieldwork. This means that I now have finished interviewing families about the impact of dream fulfilment on their lives. I learned such a lot from these and all the interviews I have done and would like to thank all the children, young people, mums dad and other family members that spoke to me about their dream experiences.
I am still analysing some of that data, and trying to tease out exactly what was important about the dream experience. Some aspects of the experience are unique to each family but some seem to be shared.
As I have mentioned previously, the shared themes and categories coming from the collected data will form the results section of this PhD on dream fulfilment. I’m writing about these findings too, and thinking about where my work on this project fit into other people’s work on illness, families and dream and wish fulfilment.
One of the most interesting things emerging from the study so far is how valuable it is for families with a child with a long-term condition to have their condition recognised. Families with children with longer-term conditions said they often found it difficult to access services. Other charities granting wishes or dreams had eligibility criteria that excluded them, prioritising conditions that were more immediately life threatening. So, for Dreams Come True to recognise their condition and illness experience was important to them. It signalled recognition.
In the same way, ill children also found dream fulfilment empowering. Being both ill and being young meant that often, children and young people had decisions made for them, by parents or doctors. The opportunity to choose a dream was therefore empowering for some of the children and young people in this study’s sample. It gave them a new sense of control over a part of their life, which was really important to them.
These findings are important as they tell us more about what kind of impact dream fulfilment has on the families that use Dreams Come True. I hope you find them interesting too!
Over the next few months I’ll be posting here, and telling you some more about the findings emerging from this PhD study. I am also preparing to present my findings at Cardiff’s International Conference in Paediatric Palliative Care, which will happen in in July. This will give me, and Dreams Come True the chance to tell nurses, doctors and scientists working with families with life threatening and long-term conditions more about the role dream fulfilment can play in illness.
For though now, I’m going to get back to writing my results up into chapters for my supervisors!