Psychological Limbo as a Barrier to Spiritual Care for Parents of Children with Cancer: A Qualitative Study

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Student Research Committee, Department of Nursing Management, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Center for the Study of Religion and Health, Department of Nursing Management, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Nursing Department, Faculty of Medical Science, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Center for the Study of Religion and Health, Department of Islamic Education, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Pediatric cancer causes reduced life quality and psychological problems for parents. It is necessary
to pay attention to spirituality, which plays a significant role in increasing the life quality of these parents and their
patient children and managing the conditions associated with the disease. This study was performed to determine
factors predisposing to spiritual care in parents of children suffering from cancer. Methods: This qualitative study was
conducted by conventional content analysis. Fifteen parents of children with cancer hospitalized in the oncology and
hematology wards of governmental hospitals in Iran were selected using a purposive sampling method and underwent
semi-structured deep interviews from 2015.1.10 until 2017.3.10. Results: On data analysis, 12 subcategories emerged
leading to extraction of three : “projection”, “mental concern”, and “psychological pains”. The final result was a focus
on the theme “psychological limbo”. Conclusion: Our findings showed that cancer induces psychological problems
in parents, which may serve as factors that drive them towards spiritual affairs. Hence, attention should be paid to
predisposing factors of spiritual care to facilitate tranquility and an ability to adapt to their circumstances in affected
parents.

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