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Facilitating and hindering factors for coping with the experience of having a child with cancer: A Lebanese perspective

Journal title
Journal of psychosocial oncology
Publication year
Doumit, M. A. A.; Khoury, M. N.

BACKGROUND: Families with a child with cancer face significant emotional and psychosocial stressors. The frequency of childhood cancer is increasing in Lebanon with more than 282 children diagnosed each year. This condition is reported to evoke a range of challenging emotions for parents, yet no studies have been conducted on the facilitating and hindering factors that affect Lebanese parents coping with a child with cancer. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of factors facilitating and hindering coping methods of Lebanese parents with a child with cancer. METHODS: The study followed purposeful sampling and saturation principles in which 12 parents (mother or father) of a child were interviewed. Data were analyzed following the Utrecht School of phenomenology. RESULTS: Helpful and harmful experiences emerged through the coding process. The enabling factors were social/family support; talking about it; strong religious beliefs; and the communication style of health workers. On the other hand, the deterring factors were the waiting time and the hospital stay; changes in the couple’s relationship; and sibling rivalry. CONCLUSION: These results could be used as the basis for additional research aimed at developing a structured approach to care that endorses the coping processes of Lebanese parents with a child with cancer. IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nursing and medical staff need to be conscious of parents’ coping strategies and their impact on family dynamics and the relationship between the family and the health care team.

Research abstracts