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Fathers’ perspectives on the treatment for pediatric hematology: extending the findings

Publication year
2004
Author(s)
McGrath, P.; Chesler, M.
Pages
39-61
Volume
27
Number
1

There is scant research available about how fathers cope with their children receiving difficult treatment protocols for diseases such as childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The present discussion contributes to this area with findings on the paternal experience of treatment for pediatric ALL collected from the families in a longitudinal study conducted at Royal Children’s Hospital and the Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland. These findings emphasize the emotional shock and pain fathers experience in the early stages of the treatment process for children with leukemia. Their emotional responses run the gamut from engagement in the treatment process to withdrawal, from crying to taking "time out" to experiencing and expressing anger at their (and their child’s) fate. In dealing with their child’s illness over time fathers struggle with accepting the situation and attempting to restore some semblance of normality to their own and their families’ lives.

Research abstracts