Experiences and needs of rural families with a child with cancer, the families' perspective

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Scott-Findlay, Shannon
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The diagnosis of pediatric cancer affects the entire family. The treatment and care for children with cancer are usually located within a large tertiary health care facility and often families live a great distance from the treatment centre. The focus of this study was to explore the needs of rural families, experiencing childhood cancer, who live a considerable distance from the centralized pediatric cancer treatment centre. A review of the literature suggested a lack of research examining rural families with a child with cancer. A qualitative research study, using an ethnographic methodology and integrating family systems theory as the conceptual framework was used to explore the needs of these families. Ten family interviews were conducted; in total twenty-five family members participated. The interviews were tape recorded and later transcribed. Purposeful sampling was used to drive the selection of families for this study. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview guide specifically developed for the study. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)