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Spiritual Care: Minimizing the Vulnerability of Parents Whose Children With Cancer Face the End of Life

Journal title
Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
Publication year
Petersen, C. L.

There is a distinct lack of literature related to the spiritual care of parents whose children with cancer are at the end of life. This has led to a dearth in evidence about how nurses may intervene with spiritual care interventions to best support these vulnerable parents. The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the evidence regarding the value of spirituality/spiritual care in minimizing the vulnerability of parents whose children were diagnosed with cancer and who faced the end of life. The Arksey and O'Malley methodological framework guided the analysis of the reviewed quantitative and qualitative literature. Spirituality and spiritual care provided bereaved parents and parents of children with cancer with necessary support and enhanced coping to allow them to better deal with this devastating experience. Spirituality and spiritual care instilled hope, assisted in the search for meaning and purpose, and guided parents to develop continuing bonds with their child. Through skillful communication, pediatric oncology nurses may guide parents of children who face the end of life to strengthen relationships that offer support, plan activities that provide opportunities for hope and connection, and identify sources of meaning in their experiences.

Research abstracts