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Distressing events for children and adolescents with cancer: child, parent, and nurse perceptions

Publication year
2003
Author(s)
Hedstrom, M.; Haglund, K.; Skolin, I.; von Essen, L.
Pages
120-32
Volume
20
Number
3

Distressing events for children with cancer (N = 121), 0 to 19 years of age, were investigated. Data were gathered through interviews with 50 children, 65 parents, and 118 nurses. Each participant was asked: "Has there been any especially distressing event for you/your child/the child with regard to disease and treatment?" Data were analyzed by content analysis. The categories that emerged from the analysis were grouped into a physical and an emotional dimension. The most frequently mentioned aspects of distress referred to the physical dimension: pain resulting from diagnostic procedures and treatments, nausea, and fatigue. The most frequently mentioned physical aspect of distress was, for children 0 to 3, 4 to 7, and 8 to 12 years of age, pain resulting from diagnostic procedures and treatments, and for children > or =13 years of age, nausea. The most frequently mentioned aspects of distress referred to the emotional dimension were categorized as confinement, feeling of alienation, and worry before medical procedures. The most frequently mentioned emotional aspect of distress was, for children 0 to 3 years of age, confinement; 4 to 7 years of age, feeling of alienation; 8 to 12 years of age, worry about death; and > or =13 years of age, changed appearance. For children 0 to 3, 4 to 7, and > or =13 years of age, aspects of distress of a physical character were mentioned most frequently. For children 8 to 12 years of age, aspects of distress of an emotional character were mentioned most frequently.

Research abstracts