Experiences of mothers and fathers of children and adolescents with cancer: a phenomenological-existential Heideggerian approach




This study was based in Heideggerian existential phenomenology, and aims to understand the experiences of mothers/fathers of children and adolescents with cancer. A total of 13 parents of eight patients attended by a charitable association participated, between December 2011 and March 2012. They were asked the question: how has it been for you to experience having a child with cancer? Three issues emerged from the analysis: experiencing the being-present and the being-absent of the loved one; sharing the existential sadness of the child; and learning with the ill child. It was evidenced that these parents experience unexpected transformations in their routine, triggering uncertainties, fears and distress. The same distress that makes them suffer in this world, however, makes them understand the existential condition of the child and of themselves. It is essential that professionals - such as those of nursing - transpose the technical-scientific care and seek to understand these existential needs with a view to offering comprehensive and humanized care.



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