br Ethical considerations br Ethical approval was obtained f
Ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committees of univer-sity institutions.
Semi-structured interview guide.
1 How is your child's hospitalization affecting you and your family? (Probe for effects on work, finances, and family activities.) 2 How is having a child in hospital affecting your family relationships? (Probe for effects on spousal, parent-child, sibling, relatives, and friends relationships.)
3 Some A 61603 feel they can deal with their situation, other families have the feeling they are collapsing under the strain. What is it like for your family? 4 How have you and your family responded to these things? Would you give me an example?
5 What would help your family to cope better with your situation? Would you give me an example?
6 Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your coping experience during your child's hospitalization?
Q.-Y. Lyu et al. / Journal of Pediatric Nursing xxx (xxxx) xxx 3
Approximately 120 parents were eligible for the interview in the four participating hospitals. Of those, we invited a total of 23 parents to participate in the study. Two parents were unavailable to participate into the study because of discharge from the hospital. Eventually, 21 parents (i.e., five fathers and 16 mothers) from different families con-tributed to this study. The age of the interviewees ranged from 30 to 43 years. Among the 21 investigated families, 11 and 10 were extended and nuclear families, respectively. At the time of the interview all chil-dren were undergoing chemotherapy. Notably, the vast majority of fam-ilies (n = 18) had children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The duration of hospitalization ranged from 18 to 360 days, while readmissions ranged from one to 15 times. All children were aged b12 years old. Table 2 presents the profiles of the 21 families.
Four types of coping strategies emerged from this study: (1) increas-ing family strength; (2) maintaining optimistic thoughts; (3) seeking external support; and (4) not disclosing unfavorable information.
Increasing family strength
This theme, increasing family strength, describes the efforts of fam-ilies to assist bonding with their family members. It shows how a family mobilizes its internal resources to cope with a child's hospitalization, and it is demonstrated by family cohesiveness and mutual support.
Family cohesiveness represents the perceptions of family members regarding the accessibility and availability of emotional bonding. Fami-lies characterized by high cohesion functioned in a complementary pat-tern during a child's hospitalization for the treatment of cancer. Several parents indicated the importance of family cohesiveness, which was considered an effective and strong resource of the family. According to the parents, family members are an important source of support during this challenging period.
“What makes me feel most comfortable and relieved is my family. We understand each other, work together, and are all of one mind. Family members bond together. My husband said we should work together as a family and be of one mind. Otherwise, we cannot over-come the stressful situation.”
In the present study, the parents reported that their family members were supportive of one another. In general, both parents accompanied the hospitalized children receiving treatment for cancer, working to-gether to overcome the occurrence of treatment-related adverse effects.
“The whole family was mobilized to handle the current situation. We share responsibilities together. Because we need to prepare food for the child by ourselves, one parent will go to prepare food and the other will stay at the child's bedside. Both of us stayed in hospital for more than 1 month during the first treatment course, since the child was experiencing serious emesis and two of us could share the responsibilities of childcare.”