Experiences of completing cancer therapy: children's perspectives.

J. E. Haase, M. Rostad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To explore the child's perspective of experiencing completion of cancer treatment. DESIGN: Descriptive, phenomenologic. SETTING: A pediatric hematology/oncology clinic in the southwestern United States. SAMPLE: Seven children ages 5 to 18 who have completed cancer therapy within the past year and who were in remission. METHODS: Open-ended, audiotaped interviews were conducted in a quiet setting away from the hospital. Interview data were transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi's eight-step procedure. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Child's description of the experience of completing treatment for cancer. FINDINGS: Six theme categories were identified from the data: a gradual realization of normal; hierarchical and cyclical recurrence fears; completion embedded in the cancer experience; seeking a new normal; modifying relationships; and resolution and moving on. The themes were developed into an essential structure that indicated that the experience of completing cancer treatment has two faces--one of celebration and hope and one of uncertainty and fear. CONCLUSIONS: Children completing cancer treatment experience numerous changes. With the assistance of healthcare providers, family, and friends, they can begin to move beyond the immediate cancer experience. Yet, fears and concerns remain for an extended time and must be addressed actively. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Study findings provide an awareness of current practices administered around the time of completion and are meant to precipitate dialog with children and families to improve follow-up care for childhood survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1483-1492
Number of pages10
JournalOncology nursing forum
Volume21
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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