Focusing on the hospital stay or everyday life with cancer: Parents' experiences of choosing a central access device for their child with cancer.

Research paper by Hanna H Bergviken, Stefan S Nilsson

Indexed on: 20 May '20Published on: 10 Jul '19Published in: Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing


The aim of this study was to gain insights into the experiences of parents of children with cancer in conjunction with their decisions on the type of central access device that their child would have. The qualitative study design was chosen to maximize the likelihood of capturing the full range of the phenomenon, that is the parents' experiences from decision-making. Open interviews were conducted between December 2015 and January 2016 with 17 parents of children who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2014-2015. The interviews were analyzed using inductive qualitative content analysis. The analysis of the decision-making process data yielded four subcategories: (a) Feeling overwhelmed owing to limited information and alienation within the healthcare system, (b) the burden of making a quick medical decision without having the big picture, (c) receiving conflicting views and approaches from the healthcare professionals, and (d) including the child's perspective. Those four subcategories were condensed into the following main category: focusing on the hospital stay and treatment or on everyday life with cancer. Healthcare professionals need to be aware that they may influence the parents' decision, and they should consider that parents are often naïve in their situation. To optimize the decision, its timing should be carefully chosen. Parents often take the child's perspective and interpret the child's reactions as reflecting a wish to avoid needle jabs or to live an unhindered everyday life. Healthcare professionals informing families about central access devices need to address both hospital stays and everyday life with cancer, and they need to adopt a child-centered approach. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.