Parents providing palliative care for children with cancer

1 Jul 2024
Rima Saad Rassam, Huda Abu-Saad Huijer, Samar Noureddine, Ellen M Lavoie Smith, Joanne Wolfe, Souha Fares, Miguel R Abboud

Parents of children with cancer provide paediatric palliative care (PPC). However, the activities they perform remain underexplored, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where the care heavily relies on family involvement. The aim of this study is to identify parental PPC tasks and intentions to perform PPC tasks and to determine their associated factors. A quantitative cross-sectional descriptive design was used to recruit parents of children with cancer from three major paediatric oncology centres in Lebanon. Data were collected through structured interviews using an adapted questionnaire. The statistical analyses included descriptive, bivariate and regression analyses of PPC tasks and intentions. One hundred and five participants completed the study. On average, parents performed 22 PPC activities. The findings suggested statistically significant associations of the number of PPC tasks with the participants’ marital status, number of people living with the child, the intentions to perform the tasks and the number of the child’s symptoms in the previous week. Examining parents’ tasks in PPC in LMICs, such as Lebanon, enhances knowledge of PPC practice in these regions and informs improvement strategies. These results promote PPC understanding, highlight factors influencing PPC delivery and provide a useful measure of PPC tasks performed by parents of children with cancer.

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