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Fear and coping in children 5-9 years old treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A longitudinal interview study
Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Institution for Health, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Institution for Health, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden; University Health Care Research Center, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7352-8234
2019 (English)In: Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families, ISSN 0882-5963, E-ISSN 1532-8449, Vol. 46, p. E29-E36Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to describe the fears of 5- to 9-year-old children related to having acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and their strategies for coping with those fears.

DESIGN AND METHODS: The study had a qualitative descriptive longitudinal design and included a total of 35 interviews with 13 children at three different times during their treatment period. Data were analyzed using a matrix-based method inspired by the work of Miles et al.

RESULTS: Initially, most children reported a fear of needles, but during the treatment period, fewer children reported this fear. Children's coping strategies also changed over time, as they wanted more involvement and control during needle-related procedures. Other fears were having adhesive tapes removed, having a nasogastric tube, and taking tablets. During the treatment period, existential fears related to the seriousness of ALL and its consequences, such as having impaired physical fitness and being different from before and different from others, became more prominent and caused feelings of loneliness and alienation.

CONCLUSIONS: The children described various fears through their treatment period, which they coped with using cognitive, emotional, and functional strategies. Over the 2.5-year period, their strategies changed.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Because fears changed over time and varied among these different children, each child must be approached individually and attentively in every encounter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 46, p. E29-E36
Keywords [en]
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Coping strategies, Fear, Qualitative method, Young children
National Category
Cancer and Oncology Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-72782DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2019.02.007ISI: 000467390600006PubMedID: 30786968Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061674121OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-72782DiVA, id: diva2:1292072
Funder
Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, PR2009-0016Available from: 2019-02-27 Created: 2019-02-27 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Anderzen-Carlsson, Agneta

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