Childhood cancer is a life-threatening disease and an experience that can cause great stress for a family. In addition, treatment of children with cancer involves many painful procedures. Invasive procedures such as bone marrow aspiration and lumbar punctures can be very traumatic, painful, and anxiety-producing for both parents and child. Parents are dealing with the diagnosis of childhood cancer and it's related treatment by different coping strategies. The aim of the current study was to assess parents' coping level with their children undergoing painful invasive procedures in pediatric oncology unit. A descriptive exploratory research design was utilized in the study. A total sample of 100 parents of children with cancer undergoing painful invasive procedures participated in the study. The study was conducted in the pediatric oncology unit at Benha Specialized Pediatric Hospital. Data were collected using A structured questionnaire format to assess Socio-demographic characteristics of children and their parents and two scales about coping to evaluate parental coping strategies toward disease -related stress and during daily life activities. The study results revealed that, the mean age of the studied children was 6.26 3.18 years. Regarding to gender, about two thirds (60%) were males, while less than half (44%) of them were in nursery stage. The majority (82%) of parents have a negative coping attitude toward their children undergoing painful invasive procedures in pediatric oncology unit and during daily life activities. Moreover, the study findings illustrated that there was a highly statistical significant difference in relation between parents' sociodemographic characteristics and their total coping. The study concluded that, socio-demographic characteristics had their reasonable impact on parents' coping strategies, such as age and level of education. There was statistically significant correlation between children’ total pain score and parents’ total coping ways and strategies. The study recommended that, pediatric oncology nurse should periodically arrange for making support groups in which parents find it is helpful to discuss feelings about their child's disease with other parents who have the same experiences thus, can enhance positive coping attitude.
Key words: pediatric oncology– painful invasive procedures– parents' coping