Experiences of Jordanian mothers and fathers of children with cancer

Ahmad Saifan, Rami Masa'Deh, Carol Hall, Jacqueline Collier

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Previous studies investigating psychological stress of parents of a child with cancer have shown inconsistent findings about parental perceived stress whose children have cancer and most of these studies were established in Western communities (with none in the Arab world). Additionally, the majority of published research focused on mothers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore perceived stress in mothers and fathers (couples) parenting a child with cancer in Jordan. Such an exploration may contribute to the existing literature and improve overall family survivorship experiences following childhood cancer in Jordan. This qualitative study used semistructured interviews of 12 mothers and 12 fathers parenting a child with cancer in Jordan. Parents of children of various cancer diagnoses were interviewed and the ages of children were between six months and 14 years. Most mothers admitted that being with the ill child most of the time and therefore away from other healthy children, relatives and friends was the main cause of stress. However, most fathers said that employment status and financial burden were their main causes of stress after their child’s health status. Most of the interviewed couples commented that they were sharing the life situation with their partners, helping and supporting each other to overcome the challenges. Results of this study highlight the importance of recognizing the psychological needs of Jordanian mothers and fathers of a child with cancer not only at the time of diagnosis but also during the cancer journey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of American Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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