Decision making for mothers with cancer: maintaining the mother-child bond.


PURPOSE The objective of this study was to explore the process of decision-making in mothers with cancer when they are mothering young children. The purpose of this article is to describe the core category that emerged from the study as well as the conditions precipitating decision making and the consequences of decision making for mothers with cancer. METHODS AND SAMPLE A qualitative methodology based on the tenets of constructivist grounded theory was used to conduct ten interviews with eight mothers with cancer. KEY RESULTS Data analysis revealed the core category, the conditions of the decision situation as well as the consequences of decision making. The core category was the meaning that mothers made of decisions, specifically that each decision was made to maintain the mother-child bond. The conditions of the mothers' lives influenced the meaning mothers assigned to decisions. The consequences of decision making were displayed by these mothers through coping strategies to facilitate maintaining the mother-child bond in times of distress. CONCLUSIONS The conditions of the mothers' lives created a context in which mothers made meaning of decisions. Mothers aimed to maintain their bonds with their children in the decision making process and used various coping strategies as a consequence to distress from decisional situations. The results have implications for future decision making research in cancer care.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2012.07.006

Cite this paper

@article{CampbellEnns2013DecisionMF, title={Decision making for mothers with cancer: maintaining the mother-child bond.}, author={Heather J. Campbell-Enns and Roberta Lynn Woodgate}, journal={European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society}, year={2013}, volume={17 3}, pages={261-8} }