Communication styles between family carers and children with leukaemia in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

BERNIE CARTER, Maha Atout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the experience of communication regarding the care of children with cancer, from the perspective of family carers, children and health professionals in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). This study employed an ethnographic collective qualitative case study approach, which was applied in one oncology unit in a Palestinian hospital. Participant observation and semi-structured interviews were used. This paper only reports the findings of the interviews with the participating family carers. Fifteen interviews were conducted with family carers (n=14 children), namely, mothers (n=7), grandmothers (n=7) and a father (n=1). The findings reveal that styles of information were given to children by their family carers: minimal/ practical information, gradual information, false information, reassuring information and several sources of information. The term cancer was avoided in the discussion of the disease to ameliorate the negative affect of this term, which is considered taboo in the studied culture. Despite the recent trend emphasizing the importance of parents communicating openly with their children with cancer, the findings of this study suggest that such open communication is not accepted by all parents. Hence, A case-by-case strategy could be adopted to treat each child in a way that is individual to that child and their culture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • children
  • cancer
  • communication
  • leukemia
  • family carers

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