Impact of Caring for Pediatric Oncology Patients on Health Professionals’ Life: A Qualitative Study
Received Date : 16 Aug 2021
Accepted Date : 11 Oct 2021
Available Online : 27 Oct 2021
Doi: 10.37047/jos.2021-85783 - Article's Language: EN
J Oncol Sci. 2021;7(3):139-49
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Objective: As cancer is a leading cause of death for children globally, getting treatment at a medical center specializing in pediatric oncology can help pediatric oncology patients get the best possible medical care and treatment. Caring for pediatric oncology patients is a comprehensive process that synergistically affects all health professionals’ quality of life. The purpose of this study was to determine the positive and negative impact of caring for pediatric oncology patients on health professionals’ life. Material and Methods: A descriptive qualitative research study was conducted with 19 health professionals from the pediatric oncology clinic of a university hospital in Turkey. Data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews and analyzed with thematic analysis. Results: In the study, three themes and nine sub-themes were created for the positive impact and negative impact of caring for pediatric oncology patients on health professionals’ life. For positive impact themes were the development of social relation, strengthening of spirituality, and psychological empowerment; for negative impact themes were changes in attitude and feelings, changes in thoughts about the future, emergence of fears. Conclusion: This study revealed that caring for pediatric oncology patients had a positive impact as well as a negative impact on health professionals’ life. Our results revealed that hospital management should be aware of both the positive and negative effects of caring for pediatric oncology patients on healthcare professionals’ lives while it becomes extremely important to support and strengthen health professionals to reduce the negative impact for robust care strategies.
  1. Rasmussen V, Turnell A, Butow P, et al; IPOS Research Committee. Burnout among psychosocial oncologists: an application and extension of the effort-reward imbalance model. Psychooncology. 2016;25(2):194-202. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  2. Shanafelt TD, Boone S, Tan L, et al. Burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance among US physicians relative to the general US population. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(18):1377-1385. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  3. Trufelli DC, Bensi CG, Garcia JB, et al. Burno ut in cancer professionals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2008;17(6):524-531. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  4. Beresford B, Gibson F, Bayliss J, Mukherjee S. Preventing work-related stress among staff working in children's cancer Principal Treatment Centres in the UK: a brief survey of staff support systems and practices. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2018;27(2):e12535. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  5. Zanatta AB, Lucca SR. Prevalência da síndrome de Burnout em profissionais da saúde de um hospital oncohematológico infantile [Prevalence of burnout syndrome in health professionals of an onco-hematological pediatric hospital]. Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2015; 49(2):253-260. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  6. Turnell A, Rasmussen V, Butow P, et al; Ipos Research Committee. An exploration of the prevalence and predictors of work-related well-being among psychosocial oncology professionals: an application of the job demands- resources model. Palliat Support Care. 2016; 14(1):33-41. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  7. Whitford B, Nadel AL, Fish JD. Burnout in pediatric hematology/oncology-time to address the elephant by name. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018;65(10):e27244. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  8. Jones MC, Wells M, Gao C, Cassidy B, Davie J. Work stress and well-being in oncology settings: a multidisciplinary study of health care professionals. Psychooncology. 2013;22(1): 46-53. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  9. Moerdler S, Li Y, Weng S, Kesselheim J. Burnout in pediatric hematology oncology fellows: results of a cross-sectional survey. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2020;67(11):e28274. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  10. Galindo RH, Feliciano KV, Lima RA, de Souza AI. Síndrome de Burnout entre enfermeiros de um hospital geral da cidade do Recife [Burnout syndrome among general hospital nurses in Recife]. Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2012;46(2):420-427. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  11. De la Fuente-Solana EI, Pradas-Hernández L, Ramiro-Salmerón A, et al. Burnout syndrome in paediatric oncology nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Healthcare (Basel). 2020;8(3):309. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  12. Weintraub AS, Sarosi A, Goldberg E, Waldman ED. A cross-sectional analysis of compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction in pediatric hematology-oncology physicians in the United States. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2020;42(1):e50-e55. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  13. Kim B, White K. How can health professionals enhance interpersonal communication with adolescents and young adults to improve health care outcomes? Systematic literature review. Int J Adolesc Youth. 2018;23(2):198-218. [Crossref] 
  14. Gómez-Urquiza JL, Aneas-López AB, Fuente-Solana EI, Albendín-García L, Díaz-Rodríguez L, Fuente GA. Prevalence, risk factors, and levels of burnout among oncology nurses: a systematic review. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2016; 43(3):E104-120. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  15. Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. 10th ed. United States: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2017. [Link] 
  16. Tong A, Sainsbury P, Craig J. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. Int J Qual Health Care. 2007;19(6):349-357. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  17. Etikan I, Musa SA, Alkassim RS. Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American Journal of Theoretical And Applied Statistics 2016;5(1):1-4. [Crossref] 
  18. Palinkas LA, Horwitz SM, Green CA, Wisdom JP, Duan N, Hoagwood K. Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2015;42(5):533-544. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  19. Flick U. An Introduction to Qualitative Research. 6th ed. UK: Sage Publications Limited; 2018. [Link] 
  20. Saunders B, Sim J, Kingstone T, et al. Saturation in qualitative research: exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Qual Quant. 2018;52(4):1893-1907. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  21. DeJonckheere M, Vaughn LM. Semistructured interviewing in primary care research: a balance of relationship and rigour. Fam Med Community Health. 2019;7:e000057. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  22. Yardley L. Dilemmas in qualitative health research. Psychology and Health. 2000;15(2): 215-228. [Crossref] 
  23. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006;3(2):77-101. [Crossref] 
  24. Vaismoradi M, Turunen H, Bondas T. Content analysis and thematic analysis: implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nurs Health Sci. 2013;15(3):398-405. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  25. Viero V, Beck CLC, Coelho APF, Pai DD, Freitas PH. Pediatric oncology nursing workers: the use of defensive strategies at work. Esc Anna Nery. 2017;21(4):e20170058. [Crossref] 
  26. Jestico E, Finlay T. "A stressful and frightening experience"? Children's nurses' perceived readiness to care for children with cancer following pre-registration nurse education: a qualitative study. Nurse Educ Today. Jan 2017;48:62-66. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  27. De la Fuente-Solana EI, Gómez-Urquiza JL, Ca-adas GR, Albendín-García L, Ortega-Campos E, Ca-adas-De la Fuente GA. Burnout and its relationship with personality factors in oncology nurses. Eur J Oncol Nurs. Oct 2017;30:91-96. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  28. Konukbay D, Yildiz D, Suluhan D. Effects of working at the pediatric oncology unit on personal and professional lives of nurses. Int J Caring Sci. 2019;12(2):1-7. [Link] 
  29. Boyle DA, Bush NJ. Reflections on the emotional Hazards of pediatric oncology nursing: four decades of perspectives and potential. J Pediatr Nurs. May-Jun 2018;40:63-73. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  30. McConnell T, Scott D, Porter S. Healthcare staff 's experience in providing end-of-life care to children: a mixed-method review. Palliat Med. 2016;30(10):905-919. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  31. Muskat B, Greenblatt A, Anthony S, et al. The experiences of physicians, nurses, and social workers providing end-of-life care in a pediatric acute-care hospital. Death Stud. 2020;44(2):105-116. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  32. Nukpezah RN, Khoshnavay FF, Hasanpour M, Nasrabadi AN. Striving to reduce suffering: a phenomenological study of nurses experience in caring for children with cancer in Ghana. Nurs Open. 2021;8(1):473-481. [Crossref]  [PubMed]  [PMC] 
  33. Odeniyi F, Nathanson PG, Schall TE, Walter JK. Communication challenges of oncologists and intensivists caring for pediatric oncology patients: a qualitative study. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017;54(6):909-915. [Crossref]  [PubMed] 
  34. Klassen A, Gulati S, Dix D. Health care providers' perspectives about working with parents of children with cancer: a qualitative study. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2012;29(2):92-97. [Crossref]  [PubMed]