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The Balancing Act: Mothers' Experiences of Providing Care to Their Children With Cancer

The effect of pediatric cancer and its treatment are overwhelming-these effects are multifaceted and felt by the entire family unit throughout the diagnosis and treatment process. Children experience a plethora of effects as a result of the treatment process; however, it is imperative to remember that a pediatric cancer diagnosis affects parents physically, emotionally, and psychologically as well. While much of the pediatric cancer treatment occurs at the hospital or in clinics, parents are often faced with additional caregiving responsibilities at home, and in many cases, it is mothers who provide care to their children, while also attempting to care for the siblings of their ill children. This secondary data analysis examines the caregiving responsibilities of mothers from Southern Ontario, Canada, during the time from diagnosis to after their children's pediatric cancer treatment. Three subthemes emerged from the overall theme of caregiving: (1) "We tried to do as much as we could outside of the clinic," (2) "I had to be there for everything," and (3) "Most of the time we relied on other people." Each will be discussed in turn. The findings from this work provides insight to health care professionals on how to create or improve the current supports and resources provided to caregivers of children with cancer.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Sage Publications
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing
Volume Number
Start Page
End Page