Title

Processing Information After a Child’s Cancer Diagnosis—How Parents Learn: A Report From the Children’s Oncology Group

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-1-2016

Journal

Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing

Volume

33

Issue

6

DOI

10.1177/1043454216668825

Keywords

education; new diagnosis; parents; pediatric oncology

Abstract

© 2016, © 2016 by Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses. Parents of a child newly diagnosed with cancer must receive an extensive amount of information before their child’s initial hospital discharge; however, little is known about best practices for providing this education. An interpretive descriptive study design was used to describe actual and preferred educational content, timing, and methods among parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer prior to their child’s first hospital discharge. Twenty parents of children diagnosed with various malignancies participated in individual interviews 2 to 12 months after their child’s diagnosis. Data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis. Education delivery occurred in a telling manner at diagnosis transitioning to a reciprocal process of teaching during the inpatient stay, then primarily back to telling immediately before discharge. Parents expressed a variety of preferred learning styles but noted that their preferences were rarely assessed by health care providers. Multiple factors influenced parents’ ability to process educational information received during their child’s initial hospitalization. Findings suggest that nursing practices should include assessing for influencing factors, providing anticipatory guidance, and incorporating parents’ preferred learning style into the educational plan.

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