Nursing Faculty Publications

The Lived Experiences of Aboriginal Adolescent Survivors of Childhood Cancer During the Recovering Process in Taiwan: A Descriptive Qualitative Research

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European Journal of Oncology Nursing





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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of Taiwanese aboriginal adolescent survivors of childhood cancer during the process of recovery.

METHOD: A snowball sampling strategy was used to recruit participants from the pediatrics unit of a medical center in the eastern region of Taiwan. In-depth interviews were conducted with 11 aboriginal adolescent childhood cancer survivors. The data were analyzed using content analysis.

RESULTS: The results revealed three major themes with subthemes within each theme. The three major themes are: roots of resilience, transformation and growth, and meaning of traditional rituals for resilience. The three subthemes within "roots of resilience" include: "feeling secure through company of family, care and financial support", "receiving support from the important others and religion" and "learning to self-adjust". The three subthemes revealed within "transformation and growth" are: restructuring the relationship with peers, "appreciating parents' hard work", and "learning to seize the moment". The two subthemes within "meaning of traditional rituals to resilience" include: "feeling blessed with the power of ancestral spirits" and "strengthening ethnic identity".

CONCLUSION: This study provided insight into the experiences of aboriginal adolescents as they recovered from childhood cancer. The experiences made positive impacts by inspiring growth in maturity and consolidating aboriginal ethnic identity. The adolescents were empowered by support from family, friends and clansmen, and by their participation in aboriginal rituals. As healthcare professionals care for the aboriginal adolescents, it is critical to consider this culturally and ethnically specific knowledge/experience of surviving cancer to improve quality of care.


Aboriginal adolescent, childhood cancer survivor, culture care, recovering process