Single-parent caregivers of children with cancer: Factors assisting with caregiving strains Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives: Caring for a child with a cancer can result in significant financial strain on families, which in turn can affect parental emotional, physical, and social health. We explored the supportive factors and resources that helped single parents of children with cancer throughout the caregiving process. Methods: Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we recruited 29 single parents of children with cancer that were at least 6 months postdiagnosis and 2 hospital social workers across 4 Canadian pediatric oncology centers. Results: Many parents had knowledge of, accessed, and received support from family, friends, community (eg, teachers, religious organizations) and cancer organizations and government programs. Nonetheless, they reported a number of unmet needs. Conclusions: Participants reported their need for more social-emotional, practical, and financial support to assist them with their caregiving duties. We recommend that hospitals provide education to describe (a) supports available to families and (b) parental caregiver needs to families' support networks. Further research is needed to identify limitations of the current public benefit schemes for caregivers.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013