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Caring for a child with cancer–a systematic review

Publication year
Vance, Y.; Eiser, C.

OBJECTIVE: To report the results of a systematic review to determine the effects of parents’ behavior on children’s coping with cancer. METHODS: Searches were conducted using Medline, EMBASE, PsycLit, and articles were subsequently selected on the basis of predefined criteria. RESULTS: Twenty-four papers were identified. There were associations between parenting behaviors and child distress both before and during medical procedures. Parents who criticized the child, or apologized for what was happening had children who were more distressed. Parents who were very permissive had more problems with adherence to treatment regimens. CONCLUSIONS: Parents’ behavior is critical in determining children’s responses during procedures and adherence to home care. There has been less work concerning how parents manage more everyday problems, such as encouraging the child to go to school. Longitudinal studies are recommended to determine how parenting behaviors affect longer term child adjustment. These findings may be helpful for clinic staff to understand parents’ reactions, and may also inform the content of intervention programs.

Research abstracts