Psychosocial Strengths in Adolescents with Cancer in Japan

Monday, 22 July 2013

Akiko Ishibashi, RN, MN
Child Health, The Japanese Red Cross Kyushu International college of nursing, Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand that the adolescents' strengths will increase ultimately by positive attitude and sense of purpose in the early.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand that support from positive parents and friends and previous experience of cancer will crucial to enhance the strengths.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the methods of enhancing strenghts in adolescents with cancer to help improve their quality of life.

Methods: This study employed a case study research method with semistructured interviews. Pattern-matching analysis was used.A purposive sample of adolescents with cancer was recruited. The inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) diagnosed with cancer, (2) aged 12 to 25 years, (3) an outpatient within the previous 10 years, (4) informed of or had received an explanation of their disease. The potential participants were identified by three physicians from an appointment list. Subsequently, a researcher met with the participants and their parents to provide the study details. After informed consent was obtained, the interviews were conducted individually in a private room. The interviews lasted between 30 and 50 minutes and were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. The coding of the data were strictly verified by 3 researchers using the same process.  

Results: The psychosocial strengths consisted positive attitude, purpose, connection with friends, confidence, and more knowledgeable about life. The strengths were developed at different stages in the newly diagnosed and relapsing participant group, but the strengths of both groups ultimately increased. For the adolescents to develop positive attitudes and a sense of purpose in the early stage of cancer treatment, support from positive parents and friends and the previous experience of cancer were crucial.

Conclusion: A positive attitude and a sense of purpose may be valuable for enabling patients with cancer to develop the psychosocial strengths needed to return to their precancer lifestyles. Patients may benefit from the emotional support of their parents and the efforts of their friends to understand their experiences.  In addition, studies on nursing care for the adolescents with cancer who with limited strengths is important to have quality of life.