Supporting Families with Breast Cancer: Insights from the Danish Nurse-Led Program "The Children's Tour" for Families with Parental Cancer

Marcell Plont; Caroline Trillingsgaard Mejdahl; Tina Rotbøl Haar; Pernille Skovlund


This study explores how a Danish nurse-led program designed to provide support to families where mothers are affected by breast cancer is experienced by the women attending the program and the nurses organizing it. Their experiences provide insights into the program's impact and potential areas of improvement and inform future interventions targeting the well-being of this specific population.

Data sources

The study involved data collected through qualitative research. An observational study of the intervention was conducted to inform the development of an interview guide for semistructured individual interviews and a focus group interview. Five women with breast cancer and children aged 5 to 16 years were interviewed, and four nurses involved in the nurse-led program took part in the focus group interview. Data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed.


Families participating in the nurse-led program reported it helpful in many ways. Three themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews: 1) "How to talk about parental cancer with school-aged children," 2) "Setting up the room," and 3) "Exchanging imagination for reality." Getting familiar with the treatment room and nurses, playing with hospital gear (syringes, bandages, and the treatment chair), and watching a movie together indicate that the visit to the ward is important and cannot be entirely replaced by digital solutions. With the need for support and limited resources at the hospital, it is pivotal to identify the families most in need.

Implications for nursing practice

Women with breast cancer parenting adolescent children need family-based care based at the hospital. Further research is needed to refine the program to cover the concerns of the whole family, including fathers and grandparents, and to apply the program to other families with parental cancer of other types.

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År 2023
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