The effects of home health care on psychosocial adaptation of families to pediatric cancer


Over the years, the pediatric cancer patient's survival rate has dramatically extended, changing the role of the nurse from one of supporting families with a dying child in an acute setting to one of facilitating adaptation of families to long term care, often in home settings. The purpose of this study was to examine available research on the topic of family adaptation and home health care of the pediatric cancer patient. The method used for the purpose of this study was a review and synthesis of literature published on the topic from 1981 to 1999. This information was discussed and also summarized in 6 tables. Research reviewed provided information regarding the following questions which guided this study: 1. What is the process of family and individual adaptation to pediatric cancer? 2. How is home health care utilized with the pediatric cancer patient? 3. Does home health care better facilitate adaptation than traditional inpatient settings? 4. What is the cost of home health care compared to the cost of traditional management of pediatric cancer? Findings indicate that families adapt in unison and individually by changing their future orientation, coping with events that may cause anxiety and depression, reorganizing roles, managing the flow of information and the therapeutic regimen, evaluating and shifting priorities, and attempting to continue with life as "normal" as possible. Home health care was shown to be a growing field which offers technologically advanced care to the pediatric cancer patient in their home. In addition, findings show that the home is possibly a better setting for the family's psychosocial adaptation than in the hospital. Finally, home health care has been shown to be more cost effective than the inpatient care setting.


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Thesis Completion





Smith, Frances B.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;Cancer -- Patients -- Family relationships;Tumors in children -- Psychological aspects







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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