Experiences with the end-of-life decision-making process in children with cancer, their parents, and healthcare professionals: A systematic review and meta-ethnography

Title

Experiences with the end-of-life decision-making process in children with cancer, their parents, and healthcare professionals: A systematic review and meta-ethnography

Creator

Hirata M; Kobayashi K

Publisher

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Date

2023

Subject

Humans; Child; Delivery of Health Care; Decision Making; Pediatric; Qualitative Research; Decision-making; Cancer; Anthropology Cultural; Only Child; Death; End-of-life; Neoplasms/therapy; Parents/psychology; Meta-ethnography

Description

BACKGROUND: Decision-making during the end-of-life (EOL) phase for children with cancer is extremely difficult for parents. We synthesized the qualitative experiences of children with cancer, parents, and healthcare professionals (HCPs), and their social interactions during the EOL decision-making process in the pediatric oncology setting. METHODS: Meta-ethnography was used to conduct a systematic review and meta-synthesis. We searched four online databases to identify original studies published in English and Japanese and examined 21 relevant studies. Two Japanese reviewers discussed the differences/relationships and included studies that synthesized the translated qualitative findings. A conceptual model of social interactions was created. RESULTS: We identified four themes regarding children's, parents', and HCPs' experiences: hope and confrontation with the child's death, guidance and support during uncertainty, awareness of being protected and having hope, and mutual unspoken integration of values. CONCLUSIONS: These themes evince the experiences of children, parents, and HCPs during the EOL decision-making process and suggests a complex three-way social interaction model. While considering such distinctive social interactions during a child's EOL, this study revealed the sharing of prudent information and psychosocial support by HCPs. The findings indicate that hope and uncertainty are key elements for effectively understanding the experiences of children and parents and that EOL decision-making should not be rushed but should be supported by leaving room for uncertainty and acknowledging parents' emotional needs and fostering new hope. Further research into how hope can be further supported in situations that are rife with uncertainty is needed.

Rights

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Citation List Month

2023 SE3 - Oncology

Citation

Hirata M; Kobayashi K, “Experiences with the end-of-life decision-making process in children with cancer, their parents, and healthcare professionals: A systematic review and meta-ethnography,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 26, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19386.