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

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Question What is the process of adaptation of families with children who are diagnosed with cancer?


Grounded theory.


A university based paediatric oncology service in the US.


32 family members (7 mothers, 7 fathers, 6 ill children, and 12 siblings) from 7 families with children diagnosed within the previous 7–30 days with any type of cancer which had a favourable prognosis (expected 5 y survival rate ≥60%). A 2 year old child with cancer was not interviewed. All were 2 parent families from rural communities, typically white, Protestant, and had an average of 3 children. The children with cancer had leukaemia or lymphoma and were 2–11 years old.


Semistructured home interviews were conducted …

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  • Sources of funding: National Center for Nursing Research; Sigma Theta Tau Beta Psi Chapter; Oregon Health Sciences University.

  • For article reprint: Dr L Clarke-Steffen, College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Box 872602, Tempe, AZ 85287–2602, USA. Fax +1 602 965 0212.