Anticipatory grieving in parents living with a child with cancer

Al-Gamal, E and Long, T ORCID: 2010, 'Anticipatory grieving in parents living with a child with cancer' , Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66 (9) , pp. 1980-1990.

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Aim. This paper is a report of a comparative study of anticipatory grief of parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer and those whose children were diagnosed 6–12 months earlier. Background. Public perceptions of cancer as a fatal illness persist despite improved prognosis for children. Parents may experience feelings of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness – the most common psychological expressions of anticipatory grief. With a focus on developing more effective therapeutic intervention, healthcare professionals have developed greater interest in the concept of anticipatory grief. Method. One hundred and forty parents, divided between ‘newly diagnosed’ and ‘6–12 months after diagnosis’ groups, were recruited in 2006 from two hospitals representative of the healthcare sector in Jordan. Structured interviews were conducted to assess anticipatory grief, using the Marwit and Meuser Caregiver Inventory: Childhood Cancer. Analysis was performed using t-tests. Results. Fewer than half of the parents in both groups reported being at peace with themselves and their situation in life. Parents of newly diagnosed children reported more severe anticipatory grief responses than those in the second group. No statistically significant differences were found in responses between mothers and fathers. Conclusion. Healthcare professionals should encourage parents to discuss negative feelings related to their child’s illness and potential outcome. Hospital policies need to include the provision and promotion of support group services for parents, and nurses should encourage parents to exploit such services.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RT Nursing
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0309-2402
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 13:57
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 11:17

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