Young Adults w/Ca & Parents' Interactions

Young adults with cancer: parents' interactions with health care professionals

A. GRINYER, ba, phd

This paper examines the relationship between medical professionals and parents of young adults who are being treated by them for cancer.

This study aims to discover what practices and procedures make the cancer journey easier or more difficult to manage for parents in the medical setting. Many studies of carers focus on spouses, little attention has been paid to parents of young adults in this context.

Self-selected parents responded to an appeal for narratives about their adult son or daughter's cancer experience.

A narrative correspondence method was used relying on contributions of a qualitative nature submitted in written form and analysed through the identification of emerging themes. Interactions with health professionals have a far-reaching effect on parents' experience.

A clear understanding needs to be established at an early stage with agreement by all parties on how information and decision making should be shared.

If parents feel excluded or uninformed about procedures, or believe that their son or daughter is receiving less than optimum care, this results in feelings of helplessness and frustration.

While many of the issues identified in this paper might apply to relatives of cancer patients in other age groups, the effect of life stage during young adulthood exacerbates the complexities of the medical setting.

Affiliations

Institute for Health Research and the School of Independent Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Correspondence

Anne Grinyer, Institute for Health Research and the School of Independent Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, UK (e-mail: a.grinyer@lancaster.ac.uk). To cite this article GRINYER, A. (2004) Young adults with cancer: parents' interactions with health care professionals. European Journal of Cancer Care 13 (1), 88-95. doi: 10.1111/ j.1365-2354.2004.00458.x

European Journal of Cancer Care Volume 13 Issue 1 Page 88 - March 2004 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2004.00458.x

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