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Evid Based Nurs 1:93 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.3.93
  • Qualitative

Families with children diagnosed with cancer used various strategies to create a new normal routine

Strategies used by families to create a new normal routine

Strategy Description
Managing the flow of information Seeking, processing, and sharing information about the illness and the family's response.
Reorganising roles Minimal to dramatic changes in family roles, but usually a shift for 1 parent to take on the additional demands caused by the illness (eg, rearranging work schedules, child care, and household responsibilities).
Evaluating and shifting priorities A process of asking what are our important values? and comparing actions with these values; when dissonance was found, behaviours were changed. Families talked about feeling closer, valuing time together, and appreciating small things.
Changing future orientation A shift in the time frame for the child's and family's goals from the distant future (eg, college plans) to the immediate future (ie, next few days or weeks).
Assigning meaning to the illness A process of understanding the illness in terms of family members' explanations of the world (eg, how illness relates to spiritual beliefs, and positive and negative aspects of the illness experience).
Managing the therapeutic regimen Family members meet the demands of the illness by performing caregiving tasks (eg, giving medications, managing treatment side effects, and making alternative arrangements for employment and household chores).

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