Keeping Hope Possible A Grounded Theory Study of the Hope Experience of Parental Caregivers Who Have Children in Treatment for Cancer

Author Affiliations: College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (Drs Bally, Holtslander, Spurr, and Wright)
Cancer nursing (Impact Factor: 1.97). 10/2013; 37(5). DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3182a453aa
Source: PubMed


Hope has been found to support parents as they care for their child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness. However, very little research focuses on the nursing care of parents of pediatric oncology patients, and therefore, nurses may have difficulty in understanding and supporting parental well-being.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the experience of hope for parents who care for their child in treatment for cancer.
Using purposive theoretical sampling, 16 parents participated in this study. Thirty-three open-ended, face-to-face interviews were conducted, and 14 parent journals were collected. Analysis of the data was conducted using Charmaz's constructivist grounded theory approach.
A developing, substantive grounded theory was constructed. Parental hope was described as an essential, powerful, deliberate, life-sustaining, dynamic, cyclical process that was anchored in time; was calming and strengthening; and provided inner guidance through the challenging experience of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Parents' main concern was "fearing the loss of hope," which was ameliorated by the basic social process of "keeping hope possible" through accepting reality, establishing control, restructuring hope, and purposive positive thinking.
Parents journeyed through numerous transitions related to the treatment of cancer that caused feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, stress, and loss of control. Hope was identified as vital to parents.
To minimize these adverse experiences, nurses can support parents' ability to keep hope possible and thus to optimize their well-being by understanding, assessing, and supporting parental hope.

54 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this secondary analysis was to develop an enhanced understanding of the experiences of parents who have children in treatment for cancer. Data collected from 16 parents (12 mothers and 4 fathers) were analyzed using Frank's dialogical narrative analysis. Findings demonstrated that parents' experiences were represented in chaos, restitution, and quest narratives. Each of these narratives was only one instance of a very complex and changing parental experience that cannot be understood in isolation from the others. The holistic understanding provided by these findings contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of parental experiences of their child's illness and highlights the need for health professionals to invite conversations about parents' illness experience and attend to the specific narrative type parents are presenting to support them adequately. Additional research is required to develop supportive approaches for each narrative which takes into account the complexities of parents' experiences.
    Journal of Family Nursing 04/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1177/1074840714532716 · 1.34 Impact Factor