The Why Behind the Questions: Question-asking in Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed With Cancer - A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2018.07.002; PMCID: PMC6613215


PURPOSE: For parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer, the exchange of information during initial educational processes is critical. This focused analysis was completed to describe parent question-asking during the new childhood cancer diagnosis timeframe.

DESIGN & METHODS: In previous research of new diagnosis education experiences, parents spoke extensively about asking questions. These data, captured in first level coding, were incorporated across higher level codes to describe how parents processed information after their child's cancer diagnosis. Using constant comparative analysis, we returned to our data to complete a focused analysis of our first level code, Asking Questions. Team members independently coded Asking Questions data from 20 parent interviews, followed by team discussions and consensus agreement for code assignment.

RESULTS: Parents asked questions to learn, fill an unmet need, or clarify information. Clinicians asked questions to assess parent learning.

CONCLUSION: Question-asking is a technique used by parents and clinicians to communicate new information, assess understanding of provided content, and/or to confirm previously provided information.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians can benefit from carefully listening to patients/parents and reflecting on the type of questions asked in an effort to understand the reason behind the question. This can be used to guide further education.

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Journal of pediatric nursing



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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Child; Child, Preschool; Female; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Infant; Information Seeking Behavior; Interdisciplinary Communication; Male; Medical Oncology; Neoplasms; Nurse's Role; Parents; Physician's Role; Quality Control; Surveys and Questionnaires


Communication; Information seeking; Patient education; Pediatric oncology

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