"I've Weathered Really Horrible Storms Long Before This…": The Experiences of Parents Caring for Children with Hematological and Oncological Conditions during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S

J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2021 Dec;28(4):720-727. doi: 10.1007/s10880-020-09760-2. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Abstract

The societal impact of COVID-19 is vast, thus it is imperative to understand how vulnerable groups, such as children with chronic medical conditions are affected. This understanding can prepare psychologists and other healthcare providers to meet their current and future needs. A convenience sample of 11 parents of children with hematological/oncological conditions was recruited. They participated in semi-structured interviews on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their children. Qualitative analysis identified common themes. Parental responses focused on the pandemic's impact on children's general daily life and healthcare. Themes of caution, uncertainty, adaptation, and the role of the healthcare providers and early medical experiences emerged. Concerns about vulnerability, changes in routine, the importance of virtual connections, and the pivotal role of providers have implications for children with and without medical conditions. The adaptation and resilience of the families provide a sense of hope in an uncertain time.

Keywords: Hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant; Nurse practitioners; Pediatrics; Resilience; Telehealth.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Parents
  • SARS-CoV-2