Parental experience of family resources in single-parent families having a child with cancer

I. Chen Huang, Pei Fan Mu, Tzeon Jye Chiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. The purpose of this study was to explore the essence of family experiences in terms of family resources and how these assist a single-parent caring for a child with cancer. Background. When families face stresses caused by cancer, they need to readjust their roles, interactive patterns and relationships, both inside and outside the family. During the adaptation process, family resources may assist recovery from stress and a return to equilibrium. Most research has emphasised the support resources available to two-parent families during the treatment process. There is a lack of information on the experiences of single-parent families and their available resources together with the functions and roles played by family resources during the adjustment process. Design. Qualitative. Results. Five major themes were identified: (i) facing the disease with courage; (ii) hope kindled by professionals; (iii) constructing parental role ability; (iv) assisting the children to live with the illness; and (v) family flexibility. Conclusion. The results of the current study demonstrate that single-parent families with a child suffering from cancer employ family resources to assist family adjustment and to maintain family function/equilibrium. These results explain the dynamic interactions between the multiple levels of resources available to the family. Relevance to clinical practice. The study results provide evidence-based information that identifies the nature of family resources in single-parent families and describes how these resources can be applied to assist the families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2741-2749
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Child nursing
  • Family health
  • Family nursing
  • Nurses
  • Phenomenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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