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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Communicating with children when a parent is dying

Communicating with children when a parent is dying

(p.557) Chapter 48 Communicating with children when a parent is dying
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care

Cynthia W Moore

Michele Pengelly

Paula K Rauch

Oxford University Press

When a parent with dependent children is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, it is common for a significant part of their distress to be associated with worries about their children. While there are not yet data to support a particular approach, it is important to highlight lessons learned from existing initiatives. This chapter draws on the clinical experience from two different programmes: one an innovative programme spearheaded by nurses at a regional oncology centre in South Wales, and the other a parent-guidance programme offered by child psychologists and child psychiatrists at a major academic cancer centre in Boston, Massachusetts. In the Welsh programme, parents have an opportunity to spend quality time with their children, while facilitating play as a means of helping children express anxieties. At the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center PACT (Parenting at a Challenging Time) programme, child psychiatrists and psychologists provide free guidance to parents with cancer about communication and children's coping.

Keywords:   South Wales, parents, children, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, child psychologists, child psychiatrists, cancer, coping, communication, nurses

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