br Increasing family strength br Family members
Increasing family strength
Family members attempted to emotionally and practically support one another against the challenges caused by the hospitalization of their children. This is consistent with findings reported by previous studies, showing that family cohesion and mutual support were protec-tive and recovery factors that can promote healthy family coping, when exposed to significant stressors or adversities (Ahlert & Greeff, 2012; Hamama-Raz, Rot, & Buchbinder, 2012). Bourke-Taylor et al. (2012) in-dicated that a family with high cohesion could better adapt to the stress of caring for a child with an illness. Another study revealed that the per-ception of a supportive and caring family environment was closely asso-ciated with better quality of life and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression among family members (Moreira, Frontini, Bullinger, & Canavarro, 2013). The increased emotional and physical bonding among family members can assist a family in realizing its strengths, and become stronger as a unit. This is consistent with the Chinese cul-ture, which emphasizes family interdependence and cohesion (Chinese Culture, 2015). Chinese individuals consider the family bonds sacred, and honor them accordingly. Family bonds are stronger versus any kind of social bond not based on kinship (Chinese Culture, 2015).
Given the importance of family cohesion, family-centered interven-tions aiming to facilitate support between family members – in terms of coping with the hospitalization of children with cancer – seem to be particularly useful in Chinese contexts. Further studies should test whether nursing interventions, aiming to mobilize family resources (e.g., problem-solving communication), are effective in promoting the Thymoquinone of families during hospitalization of children for the treat-ment of cancer. This study also demonstrated that family culture should be taken into consideration when developing interventions for Chinese patients.
Maintaining optimistic thoughts
Maintaining optimistic thoughts prevented parents from concen-trating on the negative outcomes, and distracted their minds from stressful situations. In the present study, a number of parents chose to be optimistic, regardless of the events encountered in their lives. These parents attempted to strengthen their optimistic view by focusing on the successful treatment experiences of others, or making downward comparisons to elevate their self-regard (Gibbons, 1986). According to parents of children with cancer, being optimistic may be one of the most helpful coping strategies (Fotiadou, Barlow, Powell, & Langton, 2008). Another study stated that parents obtained a positive focus when they realized that other families were experiencing more chal-lenging situations (Bjork, Wiebe, & Hallstrom, 2005). Miedema and as-sociates (Miedema, Hamilton, Fortin, Easley, & Matthews, 2010) further discovered that parents tended to choose other families facing grater challenges, in order to view themselves advantageously. This allowed parents to perceive that the hospitalization of a child with can-cer was manageable. This realization may be very helpful to those fam-ilies who thought that their situation was uncontrollable, and with which they must deal, and move on.
Similar to previous studies (Hoekstra-Weebers, Wijnberg-Williams, Jaspers, Kamps, & van de Wiel, 2012; Miedema et al., 2010), seeking ex-ternal support was another important coping approach employed by families with children hospitalized for the treatment of cancer. It in-cludes professional and social support. Healthcare professionals were valuable external sources of informational and emotional support for families during the hospitalization of their children. This finding was consistent with those reported by previous studies, showing that avail-able information helps families to face stressful situations, gain a sense of control, and overcome their insecurity (Arabiat, Al Jabery, Abdelkader, & Mahadeen, 2013; Hopia, Tomlinson, Paavilainen, & Astedt-Kurki, 2005; Monterosso, Kristjanson, Aoun, & Phillips, 2007). According to the results, the provision of up-to-date health information by healthcare professionals promotes family adaptation. Moreover, in this study, emotional support from nurses enhanced the psychological adjustment of parents during hospitalization of their children for the treatment of cancer. Furthermore, previous studies indicated that emo-tional support is helpful in the adjustment of relatives of patients with cancer (Grahn & Danielson, 1996; Northouse, Templin, Mood, & Oberst, 1998). Parents wished to share their inner feelings and concerns with nurses, whose comfort could relieve their psychological burdens to a certain extent. This implied that parents tended to place greater im-portance on the provision of emotional support by nurses. Therefore, nurses should have the sensitivity to recognize the needs of families for emotional support and take an initiative to understand their inner feelings. When parents experience serious emotional challenges, refer-ral to a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist is necessary.