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Horizonte sanitario

versión On-line ISSN 2007-7459versión impresa ISSN 1665-3262


CRUZ SANCHEZ, Marcelina. Parents’ experiences of children diagnosed with cancer in a Children’s Hospital of Villahermosa Tabasco. Horiz. sanitario [online]. 2020, vol.19, n.1, pp.79-87.  Epub 26-Nov-2020. ISSN 2007-7459.


To explore and understand families’ experiences living with a child with cancer.

Materials and method

Qualitative study with purposive sampling, 12 parents (mother or father) of a child with cancer were interviewed. Data were analyzed following the hermeneutical process.


Parents’ experience goes through the diagnostic process first, which sometimes requires the assessment of more than one health professional (general practitioner, pediatrician, or pediatric oncologist), to finally determine what the health problem is and what are the alternatives for its treatment. This process produces a lot of anxiety and feelings of guilt and helplessness; second, the treatment process, face the side effects of medication and the uncertainty of whether with this children recover health; third, family coping, which in some cases unites and in others separates family members and lastly the relationship with health staff (physicians, nurses, psychologists and social workers), who according to the informants were always there to support them


Participants experience anguish, pain, guilt and helplessness when diagnosing cancer in their children, health professionals are bound to take these feelings into account in order to improve the doctor-patient relationship.

Palabras llave : Child, Neoplasms; Hermeneutics analysis; Parents; Mexico.

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