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Health care providers’ perspectives about working with parents of children with cancer: a qualitative study

Journal title
Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
Publication year
Klassen, A.; Gulati, S.; Dix, D.

Research to understand the sources of stress and job satisfaction in pediatric oncology staff is limited. The aim of the authors’ qualitative study was to describe the key work-related demands and rewards in relation to working closely with parents from the perspective of health care providers (HCPs). Semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 doctors, 9 nurses, 5 social workers, and 6 child life specialists. Line-by-line, focused, and theoretical coding was used to establish categories and themes. Constant comparisons were used to examine the relationships within and across codes and categories. Interviewing continued until no new themes emerged. HCPs found it rewarding when they established close or long-term relationships with parents and to helped families through the entire cancer journey, including palliative care. HCPs found it challenging to work with complex families; with parents who are demanding, rude, or angry; with parents who have differing views about the treatments and palliative care; and with having to relay bad news to parents. Future research could explore the relationship between the factors that the authors have identified and burnout syndrome.

Research abstracts