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Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2001 Jul-Aug;5(4):135-40.

When a parent dies from cancer.

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  • 1Deaconess Billings Clinic, P.O. Box 37000, Billings, MT 59107, USA.


When a parent dies from cancer, each surviving child faces unique grief and loss issues. Nurses play a major role in caring for the child whose parent has died or is expected to die from cancer. The nurse's responsibility begins with assessing the child's coping strategies, family environment, and community resources. All three components affect the child's ability to progress through the grief process. Early assessment may identify problematic grief reactions and facilitate a positive outcome. Interventions that facilitate the grieving process include involving the child and family in grief groups, providing individual counseling, providing adequate information, assisting the child in the creation of memory keepsakes, and encouraging normalcy within the family.

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