Psychosocial support for parents of children with cancer

Sau ying Chiu, Eva K.Y. Ho

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Cancer is a life-threatening disease. The physical and psychological well-being of children with cancer is detrimentally influenced by the disease. It is not only the children who suffer from the disease as cancer also exerts negative influences on the patients' families. A review of the literature reveals that the parents who have children with cancer carry heavy burdens of care and responsibility. However, there are only few studies that discuss the life experience of the parents who have children with cancer. In this chapter, we will explore different coping mechanisms, hospital and community resources that are being utilized by parents who have children with cancer in eastern countries, in particular, Hong Kong. Study: The objective of the study was to explore the life experience of parents who have chidren with cancer. For the purpose of this study, six mothers who are the primary caregivers were specifically selected from a paediatric oncology ward of a hospital. A semi-structured interview was conducted with each participant by a research nurse in the clinical area. The results of the study showed that parents adopted emotion focused coping strategies in dealing with challenges. They were influenced by the fatalism and concept of a sense of personal honour. In addition, they also adopted problem focused coping strategies in order to control the situation. Different interventions which include counseling services, patient education, parent support group, assisting them to mobilize social support and providing spiritual support should be implemented in the clinical setting. It is essential for nurses to understand the coping strategies being utilized by parents, so as to design and evaluate appropriate nursing interventions that can enhance parents' abilities to cope with the challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric Cancer
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781619421127
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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