Background: Parents of children recovering from hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) experience significant distress due to unpredictable and potentially life-threatening complications. Distress is heightened by intensive caregiving parents provide the child during the first 100 days after HSCT. Management of distress and adaptation to caregiving responsibilities may be enhanced if parents find benefit in their experiences through posttraumatic growth (PTG), yet little is known about how parents’ experiences after HSCT foster PTG. This study aimed to explore how parents experience caregiving and PTG 100 days after children’s HSCT. Methods: Thirty-one parents completed semi-structured interviews ∼100 days after children received HSCT. Results: Four major themes emerged from the data to describe parent experiences after HSCT: (1) psychosocial and healthcare contextual factors; (2) cognitive, affective, and social support reactions to HSCT; (3) problem-based, emotion-based, and cognitive coping strategies; and (4) PTG. Discussion: Results increase the understanding of how parents’ experiences and caregiving responsibilities contribute to PTG. These findings may guide future research to understand how these experiences influence PTG. Nurses are integral to the parents’ experiences. Future work should focus on nursing interventions that enhance positive reinterpretation of parents’ experiences after their children’s HSCT.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Doctoral Degree Scholarship in Cancer Nursing, DSCN-17-079-01, from the American Cancer Society and supported in part by the Vanderbilt CTSA grant UL1TR002243 from NCATS/NIH.
© 2021 by Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses.
- hematopoietic stem cell transplant
- pediatric oncology
- posttraumatic growth