Literature Review1.1- Introduction to Literature Review
The aim of the literature review is to examine and synthesise the literature availableon childhood leukaemia and the effect this cancer has on the parents of the child, with particular emphasis on the father's experience. This topic was chosen as theresearcher has a particular interest in this area and because childhood leukaemia is themost common childhood cancer in Ireland, accounting for 30% of all paediatriccancers (Stack et al 2007).It should be noted that, while there is a large body of research available on childhoodleukaemia, the role of the father seems to have received very little attention. Manyresearchers use the word ‘parent’ in their studies, but closer examination of thesamples utilised reveals that the participants are predominantly women. This phenomenon was demonstrated by MacDonald et al (2010) and reiterated instudiesby Neil-Urban and Jones (2002), Ware and Ravel (2007) and by Clarke (2005).The father has previously been tagged the “forgotten parent” (Hovey 2005 p.246) inrelation to research conducted on childhood leukaemia. As current research,concentrates primarily on the female perspective. This literature review will expandthis apparent gap in order to develop an understanding of the father’s experience of having a child with leukaemia.In order to access information, the data bases Cinahl, Cochrane Library, Embase,Health and Wellness Resource, Medline, PsychoArticles and PsychoINFO wereconsulted. A manual search was also conducted of various articles available in theUniversity of Limerick’s library; for example Journal of Advanced Nursing and theBritish Journal of Nursing. The search began with the words 'childhood /paediatricleukaemia', 'cancer', 'parent', 'father', 'roles', 'coping', 'stress', 'normalisation' and'mother'. All articles were collected between August and December, 2010. As verylittle research seemed to be available on the exact focus of this proposal, some of thestudies are older than 5 years; however the information is still relevant. Almost allarticles consulted use a qualitative research method.