Objectives: Caring for a child with cancer can disrupt family life and financial stability, in addition to affecting the child's social, emotional, and educational development. Health care providers must consider ways to minimize the negative impact of illness and hospitalization on the child and family. This study evaluates a nationwide initiative to educate and support parents to administer chemotherapy to their child in their home.
Method: A questionnaire was circulated to parents participating in a home chemotherapy program from 2009 to 2014 (n = 140), seeking their perspective on the education program, and the benefits and concerns associated with administering home chemotherapy. Data analysis was conducted using a combination of descriptive statistics and content analysis.
Results: Questionnaires were received from 108 parents (response rate = 77%). Overall, the program was positively evaluated with 100% of parents (n = 108) reporting that the training met their needs. More than one-third of parents (41%, n = 44) initially felt nervous about home chemotherapy but reported that the education program helped assuage their concerns. Benefits included reduced financial costs, reduced travel time to hospital, less disruption to family life, and less stress for the child and family. No medication errors were reported during the evaluation period.
Conclusion: An important feature of the program is the partnership approach, which ensures that parents' decision to enter the program is informed, appropriate for their situation, and centered on the needs of the child. References