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It Is Tough and Tiring but It Works - Children's Experiences of Undergoing Radiotherapy
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
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2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 4, e0153029Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Approximately 300 children ages 0 to 18 are diagnosed with cancer in Sweden every year, and 80 to 90 of them undergo radiotherapy treatment. The aim was to describe children's experiences of preparing for and undergoing radiotherapy, and furthermore to describe children's suggestions for improvement. Thirteen children between the ages of 5 and 15 with various cancer diagnoses were interviewed. Data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The findings revealed five categories: positive and negative experiences with hospital stays and practical arrangements; age-appropriate information, communication, and guidance to various degrees; struggle with emotions; use of distraction and other suitable coping strategies; and children's suggestions for improvement during radiotherapy. An overarching theme emerged: "It is tough and tiring but it works". Some key areas were: explanatory visits, the need for information and communication, being afraid, discomfort and suffering, the need for media distraction, dealing with emotions, and the need for support. A systematic, family-centered preparation program could possible help families prepare and individualized distraction during radiotherapy could contribute to reducing distress. Further studies with interventions could clarify successful programs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 4, e0153029
Keyword [en]
Children, cancer, radiotherapy, interviews, experiences
National Category
Nursing Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119076DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153029ISI: 000373608000066PubMedID: 27055258OAI: diva2:918398
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Ångström-Brännström, CharlotteMullaney, TaraNyholm, TufveLindh, JackLindh, Viveca
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Department of NursingUmeå Institute of DesignDepartment of Radiation Sciences
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