Caring for children with brain tumors in an oncology ward: a phenomenologic-hermeneutic study

Chiara Fioretti, Rosapia Lauro-Grotto, Debora Tringali, Eva M. Padilla-Muñoz, Massimo Papini


Brain tumors are the most common form of solid tumors in childhood and are characterized by an uncertain prognosis, often meaning tumor invasive surgical procedures in the first steps of the patient’s treatment. In a Pediatric Oncology Ward, children with brain tumors are considered a challenge for health professionals, due to the nature of the relationship between the child, the parents, and the health care providers in the initial phase of the patient’s illness. Here we present a phenomenologic-hermeneutic study, developed in the Oncology Ward of a Hospital in Southern Spain. All the caregivers of the Ward underwent interviews concerning their experience in caring for children with brain tumors. Interviews were recorded and transcribed with the consent of the participants and were analyzed by content themes. In the present paper, we focus on the experiences concerning the first meeting of the professionals with the children and their families and the principal critical issues related to the communication of the diagnosis.


brain tumors; staff; pediatric triangle; pediatric psycho-oncology; communication of the diagnostis; group dynamics

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