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Young adults with cancer: parents' interaction with health professionals.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)88-95
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration