Parents’ Adaptation and Coping Strategies in the Diagnosis and Treatment of a Child with Cancer




Milton, Emily

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This study examines the ability of parents to adapt to their child’s diagnosis, along with factors that assist them in adaptation. The experience of diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancer affects the patient’s family along with the patient. Throughout treatment, parental roles are shifted towards caregiving in a medical context. To understand the effects of pediatric cancer more thoroughly on the parents of children with a cancer diagnosis, interviews were conducted with three mothers of pediatric cancer patients. The researcher filed information with the IRB to conduct not human subject research. A list of questions was used to direct the case interviews, allowing the subjects to share their medical experiences. Three interviews were recorded, providing an overview of the parental experience through childhood cancer. Forms of support were reviewed to determine helpful and unhelpful support techniques for parents. Coping strategies were noted to account for how parents adapt to a child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.