A lump in throat: Qualitative study on hospitalization-related experiences among the parents of children with cancer

Rohollah Kalhor, Jalil Azimian, Soheyla Gholami, Fatemeh Darzi-Ramandi, Saeideh Moosavi, Mahnaz Layeghifar

DOI: 10.22122/cdj.v7i1.370

Abstract


BACKGROUND: As the second leading cause of death, cancer is among the most stressful life events. It affects not only the afflicted patients, but also their families. Hospitalization of children with cancer faces their parents with many challenges and problems. This study was made to explore the hospitalization-related experiences among the parents of children with cancer.

METHODS: This qualitative phenomenological study was made in 2015–2016 in the hematology and oncology care unit of a teaching hospital located in Qazvin, Iran. Sampling was done purposefully and was ended once data saturation was achieved. Consequently, fifteen parents of children with cancer were recruited. Semi-structured interviews were held for data collection. The data were analyzed through the seven-step hermeneutic data analysis process proposed by Diekelmann and Ironside (1998).

RESULTS: Two main categories were extracted from the data which included “the shadow of government administration” and “the role of support systems”. The former refers mainly to accommodations in hospital settings and the process of clinical care delivery, while the latter points to the parents’ psychological experiences of presence in hospital settings. These themes came under the overarching main theme of “lump in throat: the suffering of the parents of children with cancer”.

CONCLUSION: Study findings reveal that parents’ experiences of hospitalization greatly depend on their perceptions of the environmental conditions of hospital settings. Moreover, the findings showed that negative hospitalization-related experiences could lead to many adverse consequences for patients, families, and healthcare providers.


Keywords


Cancer; Children; Parents

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