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Understanding the supportive care needs of parents of children with cancer: an approach to local needs assessment

Publication year
Kerr, L. M.; Harrison, M. B.; Medves, J.; Tranmer, J. E.; Fitch, M. I.

The objective of this study was to conduct an assessment of supportive care needs from the perspective of parents of children diagnosed with cancer within an urban-rural region in Eastern Ontario, Canada. Guided by a conceptual framework for supportive care, the exploratory, mixed-method study used a standard needs survey and semistructured interviews. Fifteen parents completed (75% response rate) the survey, and 3 parents participated as key informants in the follow-up interview. Parents reported needs in all 6 of the need categories outlined within the Supportive Care Needs Framework. The proportion of parents expressing a need ranged from 23% to 39%. Dealing with the fear of their child’s cancer spreading was frequently identified by parents. Emotional and informational needs were the 2 most frequently acknowledged categories of need. With further refinement, the use of the conceptual framework will provide a methodology for planning care based on the individual needs identified by parents of children with cancer.

Research abstracts