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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2015 Mar;47(2):143-51. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12126. Epub 2015 Jan 31.

Coping strategies used by hospitalized children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

Author information

1
Rho Upsilon, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Hospital at Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To analyze coping strategies used by children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy during hospitalization.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

This was an exploratory study to analyze qualitative data using an inductive thematic analysis. Semistructured interviews using puppets were conducted with 10 children with cancer, between 7 and 12 years old, who were hospitalized and undergoing chemotherapy.

FINDINGS:

The coping strategies to deal with chemotherapy were: understanding the need for chemotherapy; finding relief for the chemotherapy's side effects and pain; seeking pleasure in nourishment; engaging in entertaining activities and having fun; keeping the hope of cure alive; and finding support in religion.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy need to cope with hospitalizations, pain, medication side effects, idle time, and uncertainty regarding the success of treatment. These challenges motivated children to develop their own coping strategies, which were effective while undergoing chemotherapy.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

By gaining knowledge and further understanding about valid coping strategies during chemotherapy treatment, health professionals can mobilize personal and material resources from the children, health teams, and institutions aiming to potentiate the use of these strategies to make treatments the least traumatic.

KEYWORDS:

Chemotherapy; cancer; child; coping; pediatric nursing

PMID:
25639151
DOI:
10.1111/jnu.12126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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