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The process of striving for an ordinary, everyday life, in young children living with cancer, at six months and one year post diagnosis.

Research paper by Laura L Darcy, Maria M Björk, Karin K Enskär, Susanne S Knutsson

Indexed on: 07 Jul '14Published on: 07 Jul '14Published in: European Journal of Oncology Nursing



Abstract

Health care focus is shifting from solely looking at surviving cancer to elements of attention relating to living with it on a daily basis.The young child's experiences are crucial to providing evidence based care. The aim of this study was to explore the everyday life of young children as expressed by the child and parents at six months and one year post diagnosis.Interviews were conducted with children and their parents connected to a paediatric oncology unit in Southern Sweden. A qualitative content analysis of interview data from two time points, six months and one year post diagnosis, was carried out.The process of living with cancer at six months and at one year post diagnosis revealed the child's striving for an ordinary, everyday life. Experiences over time of gaining control, making a normality of the illness and treatment and feeling lonely were described.Nurses have a major role to play in the process of striving for a new normal in the world post-diagnosis, and provide essential roles by giving the young child information, making them participatory in their care and encouraging access to both parents and peers. Understanding this role and addressing these issues regularly can assist the young child in the transition to living with cancer. Longitudinal studies with young children are vital in capturing their experiences through the cancer trajectory and necessary to ensure quality care.