Embracing Changes: Adaptation By Adolescents with Cancer

Ramini, Sasha Kareema; Brown, Richard; Buckner, Ellen B.
January 2008
Pediatric Nursing;Jan/Feb2008, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p72
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use the Roy Adaptation Model (RAM) to examine adaptive strategies of adolescents with cancer. Method: This theory-based, descriptive Study was conducted through a children's hematology/oncology clinic. Investigator-designed open-ended interview questions were generated based on the four adaptive modes - physiological, self-concept, role function, and interdependence. Respondents included adolescents and young adults who had experienced cancer as adolescents. Findings: Adolescents and young adults reported evidences of positive adaptation. Experiences congruent with the adaptive modes included responding to uncontrolled nausea, embracing changes, wanting to feel normal, having the support and protection of family, and feeling increased psychosocial maturation. Conclusions: Respondents reported creatively managing bodily changes, keeping positive attitudes, and demonstrating psychosocial maturation. Practice implications highlight the imperative for nurses to listen to patients in the evaluation of care. In addition, establishing survivor clinics, structuring peer support, and encouraging involvement in activities such as cancer camps can facilitate adaptation. Through the crisis of cancer, the adolescent's voice can shape the direction for nursing care.


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