Caring for the child who has completed treatment for cancer: the lived experience of parents who do not live near their child's tertiary cancer centre

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Shepherd, Erin Jennifer Watt
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Caring for children with cancer involves caring for the entire family. Treatment for childhood cancer is centralized in major centres. A phenomenological study was conducted to elicit the lived experience of parents caring for a child who had completed treatment for cancer who do not live near their child’s cancer treatment centre. Interviews with five parents exploring their recollections of parenting their child with cancer during and after treatment were conducted. Data analysis revealed the essence of the parents’ lived experience as a journey within a journey. Four themes characterized the essence of parents’ lived experience: (1) travelling for care, (2) learning to navigate their journey with healthcare providers, (3) coping with change, and (4) giving back. Similarities and differences between the findings from this study and other studies of families with childhood cancer are presented. Recommendations relating to nursing practice, education, research and healthcare policy are provided.
pediatric oncology, rural, post-treatment, phenomenology, parents, caregiving