The research is qualitative. According to the authors, there is nopast research that has been carried out on the topic. This explainsthe use of qualitative technique because the study aims at gainingthe perspective of participants. The design is exploratory.Semi-structured interviews carried out through telephone and directinterviews are utilized in collecting the participant’sperspectives as well as experiences.
Educating families, specifically parents, whose children havecancer, is significant. The education makes it possible for parentsto effectively provide nursing care. Also, parents are able to manageemergencies. This enhances the possibility of saving the child’slife. Despite the significance of such education, minimal researchhas been conducted to determine parents’ perspective. As such, ithas not been possible to determine if parents view the education ashelpful or not. Hence, the study aims at addressing:
“What are the perceptions and experiences of parents caring fornewly diagnosed children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia inrelation to education given prior to the first discharge fromhospital?” (Aburn & Gott, 2014).
Sample – The study participants are parents or caregivers tochildren that have been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.The children comprise of those diagnosed with the disease as atFebruary 2008 to February 2010. The rationale for selecting the timeframe is to ascertain that parent/caregivers had ample time forprocessing their children’s diagnosis, use information providedduring education and hence able to offer their perspective. In orderto ensure the emotional welfare of families, an exclusion criterionwas used.
Sample size – Twelve participants were used in the research. Amongthem, seven were categorized under shared care, meaning the care isdivided amid their tertiary center and hospital.
Sample attributes – the participants comprise of an ethnicallydiverse sample size. The interviews were carried out onparents/caregivers from New Zealand Maori, New Zealand Europe as wellas different ethnicities. The ethnicity of the children was alsodiverse. Other attributes put into consideration were parents andpatient’s age, the education qualification of the parents. Inaddition, the parents comprised of parents and caregivers of diversegenders.
The parents and children diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemiaused in the study are from “a tertiary pediatric hematology andoncology setting in New Zealand” (Aburn & Gott, 2014).
Most parents express their initial lack of knowledge following theirchildren’s diagnosis with leukemia. Most were unaware of thetreatment or care that would be required in enhancing the wellbeingof their children. As a result, having their children diagnosed withcancer was stressing for the entire family. The parents support theneed for educating parents on the different health conditionsaffecting their children. Parents and caregivers are tremendouslyaffected when their children are sick. This is because they areresponsible for taking care of the children. Specifically, when thechild has an acute illness, they require a lot of care andcaregivers/parents need knowledge on how to respond duringemergencies. The feedback from parents depict that education on theirchildren’s diagnosis does not just relieve the stress of having tocater for the children. Also, information enhances care given tochildren. Parents need support from staff, especially oncologists inobtaining information concerning their children’s illness. Othersources of education can be the internet. However, most parentsconcluded that online information was not useful as most of it wasoutdated and scary. Hence, healthcare professionals should be themain source of educating parents about their child’s illness.
Aburn, G & Gott, M. (2014). Education given to parents ofchildren newly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Theparent’s perspective. Pediatric Nursing, 40(5), 243-256.