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Hope in parents of adolescents with cancer- Factors endangering and engendering parental hope

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Kylma, J.; Juvakka, T.

The purpose of the study was to describe hope in parents of adolescents with cancer. The data were collected by interviewing nine parents of six families (n=18) and analysed by inductive content analysis. Parents’ hope implies an orientation towards life and the future, trust, togetherness and wishes. Hope is associated with suffering and despair and it is a life-promoting factor. Factors associated with parental hope relate to the adolescent, the adolescent’s cancer and health status, the care received and the care-giving personnel, continuation of life, the parent him- or herself, economics, other people, faith and pets. The findings confirm the statement that hope appears to be central to parents having a child with cancer. The factors endangering and engendering hope are related to several dimensions of family life, suggesting that hope is a broad, multidimensional phenomenon. Engendering hope is important in nursing: hope is a life-sustaining factor, which helps the person to cope in difficult life situations. In caring for an adolescent with cancer and his or her parents, it is of utmost importance to minimize factors endangering parental hope and to foster factors that engender parental hope.

Research abstracts