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A survey of pediatric oncology nurses’ perceptions of parent educational needs

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Kelly, K. P.; Porock, D.

Educating parents of children with cancer is a primary nursing responsibility in pediatric oncology. A survey using Delphi techniques was conducted with nurses attending a Children’s Oncology Group Nursing Workshop to identify priority educational topics from pediatric oncology nurses’ perspective. In round 1 of the survey, nurses were asked to identify 5 priority educational topics and 5 topics they spend the most time teaching parents. Twenty-four educational categories were identified by 199 nurses, and responses were sorted by category and frequencies tabulated. Information about treatment was the most frequently cited priority. Bone marrow suppression (BMS) was the second most important priority and was the topic nurses spent most time in teaching. Round 2 of the survey was sent via e-mail to 132 consenting participants from round 1. Nurses were asked to rate the importance of the categories from round 1 (presented in random order) during 4 time periods (diagnosis, initial treatment, maintenance, and off therapy). Nurses reported different teaching priorities across the continuum of treatment. Of note, teaching about end-of-life issues and alternative therapy were ranked as low in importance across all time points. These findings can be used to inform educational programs and materials development for parents of children with cancer.

Research abstracts