I.M. Verdonck-de Leeuw
F.J. van Zuuren
M.H.M van der Linden
- Coping with parental cancer: web-based peer support in children
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Objective: To investigate the use and content of web-based peer support in children coping with parental cancer.
Methods: In children aged above 12 years, 158 forum discussions on the Dutch website www.kankerspoken.nl in a time-period of 3 months were investigated. Age, gender, number of discussions, participation and main activities on the website were quantitatively assessed. Contents of the discussions were qualitatively analyzed.
Results: In total, 129 children and 8 adults participated on the website with an average age of 15.3 years. The majority was female (80%). On average, a child was on-line for 3 days and participated in 4 to 5 forum discussions. Main activities on the website were sharing personal experience, providing encouragement/support, providing and seeking information or advice and seeking contact outside of the website. Qualitative content analysis revealed that children regularly faced emotional problems and experienced a lack of understanding and communication in their direct environment.
Conclusions: In dealing with parental cancer, children experience a variety of difficulties. This study offers a window into the use of web-based peer support by children dealing with parental cancer.
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