The purpose of this study was to examine the direct and indirect links between the perception of family-centered care (FCC) and psychological well-being via the perceived self-efficacy of parents of children with cancer. This study also sought to identify the potential moderators of these links (treatment status and patient age).
This cross-sectional study was conducted at the pediatric oncology wards of two Portuguese public hospitals. The consecutive sample comprised 251 parents (87.6% mothers) of children/adolescents (8−20 years old) diagnosed with cancer. Participants completed self-report questionnaires measuring their perception of family-centered care (family-centered services and providing general information), perceived self-efficacy (regarding healthcare and parenting role) and psychological wellbeing.
Results from the Structural Equation Modeling suggested that parents’ perception of FCC was indirectly, but not directly, linked to psychological well-being via perceived self-efficacy. Multi-group analyses suggested that this mediation model was valid across treatment status (on vs. off-treatment) and patient age groups (children vs. adolescents).
These findings highlighted that, through the implementation of FCC, healthcare professionals may promote parents’ perceived self-efficacy and, consequently, their psychological well-being. Results also suggest that FCC may equally operate on parents’ psychosocial functioning, regardless of treatment status or patient age. Overall, our findings reinforced the benefits of FCC practices in pediatric oncology wards.