Cultural Beliefs and Coping Strategies Related to Childhood Cancer
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The purpose of this study is to describe cultural beliefs and coping strategies related to dealing with childhood cancer identified through a qualitative study of the caregiving experiences of first-generation South Asian immigrant parents of children with cancer. A constructivist grounded theory approach was employed. Families with a child at least 6 months postdiagnosis were recruited from 5 Canadian pediatric oncology centers. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted in English, Hindi, Punjabi, or Urdu with a sample of 25 South Asian parents. Analysis of interviews involved line-by-line coding and using the constant comparison method. The following 2 central themes related to culture and coping emerged: (a) cultural beliefs about childhood cancer being incurable, rare, unspeakable, and understood through religion and (b) parental coping strategies included gaining information about the child's cancer, practicing religious rituals and prayers, trusting the health care professionals, and obtaining mutual support from other South Asian parents. These cultural beliefs and coping strategies have important implications for health care providers to understand the variations in the perceptions of childhood cancer and coping in order to implement culturally sensitive health care services.
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