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Original scientific paper

https://doi.org/10.31299/hrri.56.1.7

Living “day-by-day”: Parents' experiences during their child's active cancer treatment

Anita Džombić orcid id orcid.org/0000-0002-8271-9697 ; Social Welfare Centre Ivanić-Grad, Croatia
Jelena Ogresta orcid id orcid.org/0000-0001-5235-3180 ; Department of Social Work, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


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Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the experience of parents whose children are in active treatment for various types of cancer. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 parents. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis, five themes were derived: a) response to the diagnosis, b) parental “navigating” through the new life situation, c) “being in the hospital”, d) sources of additional “burden”, and e) those who made the process of treatment easier. The majority of parents used active coping strategies; for example, they tried to mobilise existing resources, focused on the present and lived a “day-by-day” kind of life. As aggravating circumstances of treatment, they noted inadequate physical conditions, increased costs of living, inadequate support of family members and a prejudicial environment. During the process of medical treatment, parents found the following factors helpful: child's strength, other parents’ support, community members, and the expertise of medical staff. This paper emphasises the complexities and importance of understanding parenting processes that can operate throughout the disease trajectory for families experiencing paediatric cancer. The findings on the experience of parents gives increasing insight into difficulties but also into parental protectiveness, which can contribute to defining the interventions for strengthening their parental role.

Keywords

cancer, children, parenting, coping and adaptation

Hrčak ID:

240188

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/240188

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