The Caregiver Experiences of Pain Management for Children with Neuroblastoma in Taiwan: A Qualitative Study

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Ching-Hui Lu, RN, BSN
Department of Nursing, Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei Taiwan, Taipei City, Taiwan
Su-Fen Cheng, PhD, RN
Nationat Taipei College of Nursing School of nursing, Associate Professor, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learners will be able to understand how caregiver managing pain for their children with neuroblastoma in Taiwan.

Learning Objective 2: The learners will be able to understand how neuroblastoma impact the children and their family.


Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor and mostly occurs in infants and young children. Pain was one of the major reasons that caregivers seek for help although approximately 60% of children show metastatic with poor outcome at that time. With the fast changing metastatic of this disease, how caregivers managing their children’s pain may influence quality of life of children. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand caregivers’ lived experiences in managing pain for their children with neroblastoma.


A descriptive qualitative research design was used in this study. A total of 12 children’s caregivers were invited to participate in this study, including 11 mothers and one grandmother. Two fathers also joined the interview and stated their experiences. In-depth interviews were audio-taped with permission; interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis method.


Three themes emerged from the data, including pain experiences, impact on family and coping with pain. Under pain experiences, we found how caregivers managing children’s pain depends on the stages of their treatment. Children’s pain is easily viewed as growing pain and is misdiagnosed by physicians. Mixed feelings were presented when caregiver managing children’s pain. Combination of pharmacology and non-pharmacology therapies can best relieve children’s pain. All themes can be related to the experiences in managing children’s pain.


The result demonstrates the caregiver’s experiences in managing children’s neuroblastoma pain and how this pain impact on their family. This information provides health care providers to understand how to promote effective pain relief for the children with neorublastoma. Specific suggestions and practical implementation for health care providers are highlighted.