Causal Perceptions in Turkish Parents of Children with Cancer
Figen Işık ESENAY1,Tufan Aslı SEZER1,Sevcan ATAY TURAN2
1Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Ankara University, Ankara-Turkey
2Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Akdeniz University, Ankara-Turkey
DOI : 10.5505/tjo.2018.1788 OBJECTIVE
To more fully explore how the parents of childhood cancer patients perceive the causes of their disease.

This cross-sectional study included 229 parents of children with cancer who were admitted at one of the largest children"s hematology and oncology clinics in Ankara, Turkey. The parents completed the causal representations subscale of the Illness Perception Questionnaire. Analyses of variance and other descriptive tests were performed.

The most common causal attributions were a function of the Risk Factors Subscale (M=2.94) pertaining to diet and eating disorders. The answers to the open-ended questions indicated that the most significant issue in their children"s disease was faith-based, the will of God, and the "evil eye" (43.9%). The mean scores on the subscale did not vary by parental, marital, educational status, region of residence, or time of diagnosis; there was only a significant difference based on income level and age.

Parents responding in a self-report on the causal representations subscale suggested that most risk factors involved more fatalistic views, which were due to societal differences. This is important for clinicians, who plan and implement education and treatment, to better understand parents" perceptions regarding cancer. Our findings highlight the need for more attention to these cultural matters in cancer care. Keywords : Childhood cancer; cancer perception; parents