Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

The barriers and facilitators in providing spiritual care for parents who have children suffering from cancer

BACKGROUND: Given the importance of spirituality in crisis situations including life-threatening diseases such as cancer, paying due attention to this aspect of care is of great importance. This study aims to investigate the barriers and facilitators in providing spiritual care for parents who have children suffering from cancer. METHODS: This study was conducted using a qualitative approach and the common content analysis method. Fifteen people who participated in the study included 11 mothers and 4 fathers. A purposive sampling method was used. The environment for the research included the oncology and hematology departments of state children’s hospitals around the country. Semi-structured interviews were conducted individually. RESULTS: Analyzing the data yielded “crossing the rocky route” as the main category in barriers to spiritual care, which included the subcategories “spiritual escape,” “lack of supporting resources,” and “family influenceability.” In addition, “multiple support” was obtained as the main category in facilitators of spiritual care, which included the subcategories “emotional support,” “healthcare support,” “social support,” “spiritual support,” and “supporting the child.” CONCLUSION: The results of the study showed that spirituality plays an important role in helping parents deal with and adjust to their children’s disease. Therefore, it is of great importance to pay due attention to the different aspects of spiritual care and enforce factors that can act as facilitators in this area and remove the barriers to spiritual care. This aim is attainable through educating the parents and medical staff.