To describe the chemotherapy-associated symptoms and the strategies used for their management from the perspective of pediatric cancer patients’ family caregivers.
This is a descriptive study with qualitative data analysis. Data collection took place in a pediatric hospital, from December 2017 to December 2018, with family caregivers of pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy. Semi-structured interviews, subjected to inductive content analysis, were carried out. Concepts from the Symptom Management Theory were used to discuss the results.
Eighteen family caregivers participated. The participants mentioned: physical symptoms, especially weakness, alopecia, low immunity, pain, mucositis, constipation, nausea, and vomiting; emotional or psychosocial symptoms such as sadness and mood changes; and constitutional symptoms such as loss of appetite and fever. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures were mentioned in the management of symptoms and adverse effects.
Participants demonstrated skills to identify and manage symptoms of chemotherapy. Knowing the experience of these families can help nurses in planning care and interventions to minimize these events.