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Supporting the Decision Making of Children With Cancer: A Meta-synthesis

Journal title
Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
Publication year
Yamaji, N.; Suto, M.; Takemoto, Y.; Suzuki, D.; Lopes, K. D. S.; Ota, E.

Background: Recently, awareness of children's decision making has increased in an effort to enhance palliative care. However, the conceptual framework for decision making among children with cancer remains unclear. Aims: We clarified the decision-making process of children with cancer regarding their care, treatment, and support from family and health care professionals, and identified their needs and preferences. Design: We used metaethnography to conduct a metasynthesis of relevant studies. Data sources: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and CINAHL. This report was prepared in accordance with the PRISMA statement. Results: Of the 7,237 retrieved studies, 27 met our inclusion criteria. Four themes emerged that reflected the decision-making process of children with cancer: (a) facing changes brought about by a health threat, (b) preparing for action, (c) asserting one's choice, and (d) internal and external influences. Conclusion: Children with cancer initially undergo a decision-making process. Respecting children's preferences, values, and emotions may help build trusting relationships and promote their decision-making capability. Future research should focus on children's emotions, cognition, development, and interactions with parents and health care professionals.

Research abstracts