1. In this scoping review, factors that may influence parent decision making in poor-prognosis childhood cancer vary between parents and may lead to potential conflict and tradeoffs.

2. Furthermore, preferences between parents may change depending on a parents’ cognitive state.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

In the recent decade, there has been an increasing number of treatment options and clinical trial options available for children diagnosed with poor-prognosis cancers. Currently, research in the field of parental decision making in poor-prognosis childhood cancer is limited. As a result, the objective of the present scoping review was to explore parent values and preferences regarding treatment decision-making when their child was receiving cancer-directed therapy for poor-prognosis cancer.

Of 586 identified records, 12 were included in the final analysis from 1996 to May 2021. Studies were included if they included the values and preferences of parents of poor-prognosis childhood cancer patients. Studies were excluded if values and preferences were not related to treatment decision making, continued prognostic communication regarding cancer diagnosis among others. The review was conducted following Joanna Briggs Institute. Quality of data extraction was performed by reviewing a random sample of 25% of the articles by a third reviewer.

Results demonstrated that factors that informed decision-making processes included: opinions of others, child’s wishes, religion, and faith. Furthermore, it was found that parents valued having enough time, being a good parent, and being involved in decision making, although preferences within these values varied. Despite these findings, the present study was limited financially and only included studies written in English. However, these results present the need to invest additional time to explore what is important to parents when making treatment decisions for their children.

Click to read the study in BMC Pediatrics

Image: PD

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