Experiences of Parents With the Physical Care Needs at Home of Children With Cancer: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Background:

Between cancer treatment courses, children who have not developed any complications or neutropenia are sent home until the start of the next treatment protocol.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of parents in the home care of children who had been recently diagnosed with cancer and were undergoing cancer treatment but had been discharged from the hospital between treatment protocols.

Methods:

The study was carried out at Ege University, Turkey. Twelve parents of 12 children between 0 and 18 years of age participated in an in-depth interview. The data were analyzed according to Orem’s Self-care Deficit Theory.

Results:

The main themes were basic conditioning factors, self-care agency, and self-care needs. Some parents changed their place of residence because of the cancer treatment, focused on the recovery of the child, and experienced fear, perception difficulties, and difficulties related to self-care needs.

Conclusions:

Parents report difficulties with extreme emotions and dilemmas in maintaining their daily routines of life secondary to fear of infection and challenges with feeding their children.

Implications for Nursing:

A well-planned discharge education, home visits, and telephone consultation interventions are essential to meet the needs of children and their parents who are at home between treatment courses.

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