Coping with parental cancer:web-based peer support in children

J. Giesbers, I.M. de Leeuw, F.J. van Zuuren, N. Kleverlaan, M.H.M. van der Linden

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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 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. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-892
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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