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J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2011 Jul-Aug;28(4):244-51. doi: 10.1177/1043454211409587. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Parental experiences of information within pediatric oncology.

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Department of Nursing, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


Parents of children with cancer use information to create knowledge about their child's disease. Information can help parents reduce chaos and create a feeling of control, but there are often obstacles to its acquisition, which has been described as similar to learning a new language. The purpose of this study was to describe parents' experiences of acquiring and using information to create knowledge about their child's cancer during the course of the illness. The authors used qualitative content analysis on data from focus groups and individual interviews with 14 parents of children with cancer. Two themes were constructed: (a) feeling acknowledged as a person of significance included feeling safe and secure in spite of uncertainty, having one's hopes supported, and getting relief from other families' experiences; (b) feeling like an unwelcome guest included feeling abandoned at important milestones, feeling forced to nag for information, and feeling burdened by the obligation to inform others. Parents may need extra attention at important milestones such as treatment cessation, with information meetings grounded in the parents' own needs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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