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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • children;
  • family needs;
  • information;
  • Jordan

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the perceived care needs of parents of children with cancer in Jordan. (1) What are the parents' priority caring needs; (2) to what extent these needs are met by the healthcare team members; (3) the parents' need for further information (4) and whether socio-demographic, disease and treatment variables predict parents' needs for further information.

Background

Providing support for families caring for a child with a long-term illness has been recognised all through literature, yet studies focusing on parent needs are lacking.

Design

Descriptive survey.

Methods

A total of 98 parents from a tertiary oncology hospital in metropolitan area in Amman completed the Arabic Family Inventory of Needs–Pediatric II.

Results

Most of the 17 needs measured by the Family Inventory of Needs–Pediatric II were considered important. Only 78% of parents needs were met by the healthcare professionals; yet, the results clearly highlighted the importance of informing parents about the child's illness, treatment and outcome. The socio-demographic variables were not significant predictors for the family needs for further information, with two major exceptions; parents with lower level of education and parents of children undergoing bone marrow transplantation or surgery.

Conclusions

The needs of parents vary from family to another, and healthcare professionals must become familiar to these needs and acquire the skills to direct their interventions more appropriately. The Family Inventory of Needs–Pediatric II may be a useful adjunct in assessing the parents' needs for care and for information, as well as the quality of care services provided.

Relevance to clinical practice

Priority needs should be central in the daily care of these families and support programmes should be adopted in Jordan for planning and developing the system of care for these families, as well as their children.