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01-04-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2015

Parents as Advocates for the Psychosocial Survival of Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2015
Auteurs:
Peter Lewis, Julie Mooney-Somers, Christopher F. C. Jordens, Ian Kerridge

Abstract

Many young people with cancer have a parent or parents who care for them during their hospitalisation and treatment, and remain an important part of their lives after the ‘crisis’ has passed and young people have moved into survivorship. This qualitative study explored the impact of cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival during adolescence and young adulthood on the practice and experiences of parenting. We conducted focus groups with a total of 22 parents of young people diagnosed with various cancers between the ages of 11 and 19 years old. The results indicated that parents advocated for their offspring in different ways at different points of the cancer journey. Parents used their parental knowledge of their offspring to secure a medical diagnosis and treatment, developed medical knowledge to advocate for appropriate treatment within the medical system, and then used parental and medical knowledge to advocate for their offspring’s successful psychosocial survival. In this final point in the journey, parents entered social worlds from which they would normally be absent and some went to great lengths to ensure their offspring were not socially disadvantaged.

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