Information and Support Needs of Adolescent Children of Women With Breast Cancer

Linda J. Kristjanson

Karen I. Chalmers

Roberta L. Woodgate

ONF 2004, 31(1), 111-119. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.111-119

Purpose/Objectives: To elicit detailed descriptions of adolescents' information and support needs in response to their mothers' breast cancer.

Design: Exploratory, qualitative.

Setting: Four different outpatient and inpatient oncology settings in western Canada.

Sample: 31 adolescent children of women in five illness phases.

Methods: 27 semistructured interviews and two focus groups were conducted. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using constant comparison techniques. The Communication Subscale of the McMaster Family Assessment Device also was administered to assess family communication patterns.

Findings: Information needs were sources of information, information content, degree of helpfulness, and information timing. Support needs were type, degree of helpfulness, form, and source.

Conclusion: Most of the adolescents reported that their needs were poorly met.

Implications for Nursing: Women with breast cancer have a need for family-focused care. Further research is required to develop interventions that can assist nurses in providing care that meets the needs of adolescent children and other family members of women with breast cancer.

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