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J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2013 May-Jun;30(3):153-60. doi: 10.1177/1043454213487434. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

From qualitative work to intervention development in pediatric oncology palliative care research.

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Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN 37240, USA.


Qualitative methods can be particularly useful approaches to use with individuals who are experiencing a rare disease and thus who comprise a small sample (such as children with cancer) and are at points in care that few experience (such as end of life). This data-based methods article describes how findings from a qualitative study were used to guide and shape a pediatric oncology palliative care intervention. Qualitative data can lay a strong foundation for subsequent pilot intervention work by facilitating the development of an underlying study conceptualization, providing recruitment feasibility estimates, helping establish clinically meaningful inclusion criteria, establishing staff acceptability of a research intervention, and providing support for face validity of newly developed interventions. These benefits of preliminary qualitative research are described in the context of this study on legacy-making, which involves reports of children (7-12 years of age) living with advanced cancer and of their parent caregivers.


intervention development; pediatric oncology; pediatric palliative care; qualitative

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