Creating a shielding place for children with leukaemia during sedation for intrathecal chemotherapy: A grounded theory study

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2020 Feb;44:101711. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2019.101711. Epub 2019 Dec 16.


Purpose: Childhood cancer invades the child's daily life and has a strong influence on their living conditions and lifestyle. The treatment is an unpleasant experience and the children often perceive the treatment as worse than the actual disease. The aim of the present study was thus to explore the process of how healthcare professionals improved care for children undergoing sedation for intrathecal chemotherapy.

Method: A constructivist grounded theory approach was applied and qualitative interviews with paediatricians (n = 2), anaesthetists (n = 2), paediatric nurses (n = 3) and nurse anaesthetists (n = 5).

Results: The theory of creating a shielding place emerged and conceptualized the pattern of behavior of healthcare professionals throughout the procedure of sedation for intrathecal chemotherapy for pediatric leukaemia. The theory explains the core category 'shielding' and the process of how healthcare professionals developed strategies to resolve their main concern: a striving to reduce discomfort and suffering induced by the procedure and the treatment. These strategies, used throughout the procedure, were; de-dramatizing, de-exposing and minimizing trespassing.

Conclusions: The theory of creating a shielding place offers a greater understanding of how healthcare professionals included the child's perspective in their work and thereby enabled a more sensitive and supportive care that had an impact on both quality of care and patient safety. The results from the study contributes with theoretical knowledge that can be used for developing evidence-based care guidelines for the procedure of sedating a child with leukaemia for intrathecal chemotherapy.

Keywords: Caring; Chemotherapy; Children; Grounded theory; Healthcare professionals; Leuk; Person-centered care; Quality of care; a; emia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conscious Sedation / standards*
  • Drug Therapy / standards*
  • Female
  • Grounded Theory
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / psychology*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / standards*
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Space*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Qualitative Research
  • Respect*