Maatskaplike werkers se sienings oor die invloed van 'n kankerdiagnose by 'n kind op gesinsfunksionering

Steenkamp, Terika (2016-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Childhood cancer is a traumatic and unexpected event that is regarded, by any family, as unwanted. Not only does the diagnosis of cancer in a child have an impact on the affected child, but it also has an impact on the parents and other siblings within the family. This type of diagnosis can be very disruptive and requires that the family’s functioning be adapted to suit the new needs, challenges and priorities. This sudden change can cause an imbalance in the functioning of the family, as they attempt to adjust to the situation. Proper support and services for the family are necessary to aid them in adjusting and ensure their functioning is as normal as possible. The goal of this study was to develop an understanding and insight into social workers’ views on the impact that a cancer diagnosis of a child has on the functioning of their immediate family. This goal was achieved by implementing the following sub-goals: to explain, from a social work perspective, the needs and circumstances that a family in which a child has been diagnosed with cancer, faces; to explain the experiences and functioning of a family in which a child has been diagnosed with cancer, from the systems theory; and to investigate and analyse social workers’ views on the impact that a cancer diagnosis of a child has on the functioning of the family. This was a qualitative study with certain quantitative elements. The utilisation of an explorative and descriptive research design led to detailed descriptions of the impact of a cancer diagnosis of a child on the functioning of the family. The empirical study was done by using 18 participants. Data was collected by using semi-structured personal interviews. Data was also collected through a focus group, in which four participants partook. The findings of the focus group were used to support and supplement the findings of the interviews. Both the semi-structured interview schedule as well as the focus group interview schedule was set up by using the results of the literature study. Four themes were identified by analysing the results of the semi-structured interviews. The themes were: the functioning of a family during and after the diagnosis of cancer in a child; the impact of the diagnosis of cancer within a child on the family; support; and service provision and the role of the social worker. The results of the focus group led to five themes: childhood cancer; needs; changes in circumstances; culture; and promoting awareness. The results in this study greatly coincide with the findings within the literature study that indicated that the diagnosis of cancer within a child affects all aspects of a family and changes their functioning as a system dramatically. The influence that culture has on the family’s functioning as well as the lack of awareness of childhood cancer are two new aspects that were highlighted and did not appear clearly in the literature review. Recommendations are made to social workers in South Africa to use this new insight and understanding to aid in providing better and more meaningful services to families in which a child has been diagnosed with cancer. Proposed topics for further research are also made to encourage investigation into childhood cancer, families, and their needs in order to lead to better comprehension about what type of support is the most important to families and children that are diagnosed with cancer.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: ʼn Kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind is ʼn traumatiese en onverwagte gebeurtenis wat enige gesin as onwelkom ag. Die kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind hou gevolge in nie net vir die siek kind nie, maar ook vir die ouers en ander sibbe in die gesinsisteem. So ʼn diagnose kan baie ontwrigtend wees en vereis van die gesin om aan te pas by nuwe behoeftes, uitdagings en prioriteite. Hierdie skielike verandering kan ʼn wanbalans in die gesinsisteem se funksionering veroorsaak soos hulle daarby probeer aanpas. Geskikte ondersteuning en dienslewering aan hierdie gesinne is dus nodig om hulle aanpassing en funksionering so normaal as moontlik te hou. Die doel van die studie was om begrip en insig te ontwikkel oor maatskaplike werkers se sienings oor die invloed van ʼn kankerdiagnose by ʼn kind op gesinsfunksionering. Hierdie doel was bereik deur die implementering van die volgende doelwitte: om behoeftes en omstandighede van gesinne met ʼn kind wat met kanker gediagnoseer is vanuit ʼn maatskaplike werk oogpunt te verduidelik; om die ervarings en funksionering van ʼn gesin waar kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind gemaak is vanuit die sisteemteorie te verduidelik; en om maatskaplike werkers se sienings oor die invloed van ʼn kankerdiagnose by ʼn kind op gesinsfunksionering te ondersoek en te analiseer. Hierdie was ‘n kwalitatiewe studie met sekere kwantitatiewe elemente. Die gebruik van verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerp lei tot gedetailleerde beskrywings van die invloed wat ʼn kankerdiagnose by ʼn kind op gesinsfunksionering het. Die empiriese studie is voltooi deur van 18 deelnemers gebruik te maak. Data was ingesamel deur die gebruik van semi-gestruktureerde persoonlike onderhoude. Data was ook ingesamel deur middel van ʼn fokusgroep, waaraan vier deelnemers deelgeneem het. Bevindinge van die fokusgroep was gebruik om bevindinge van die semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude te versterk. Beide die semi-gestruktureerde onderhoudskedule asook die fokusgroep onderhoudskedule was opgestel vanuit die resultate van die literatuurstudie. Vanuit die bevindinge van die semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is daar vier temas geidentifiseer naamlik: funksionering van die gesin tydens en na die kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind; impak van kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind op die gesin; ondersteuning; en dienslewering en die rol van die maatskaplike werker. Bevindinge van die fokusgroep het gelei tot vyf temas naamlik: kinderkanker; behoeftes; veranderde omstandighede; kultuur; en bewusmaking. Die bevindinge in hierdie studie stem grootliks ooreen met die bevindinge van die literatuurstudie wat getoon het dat die kankerdiagnose van ʼn kind alle aspekte van die gesin se lewe affekteer en hulle funksionering as ʼn sisteem geweldig verander. Die invloed van kultuur op gesinsfunksionering en bewustheid oor kinderkanker is twee nuwe aspekte wat uitgestaan het en nie duidelik in die literatuuroorsig na vore gekom het nie. Aanbevelings word gemaak vir maatskaplike werkers in Suid-Afrika om hierdie nuwe insig en begrip vir gesinne met ʼn kind gediagnoseer met kanker te benut om beter sowel as kwaliteit dienslewering aan hulle te rig. Voorstelle vir verdere navorsing word ook gemaak sodat kinderkanker, gesinne, en hulle behoeftes ondersoek kan word wat sal lei tot beter begrip oor watter ondersteuning belangrik is vir gesinsisteme en kinders gediagnoseer met kanker.

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