Culture brokering: The essence of nursing care for preschool children suffering from cancer-related pain

Suzan Banoub-Baddour, Maureen Laryea


Caring for preschool children suffering from cancer pain presents a major challenge for paediatric oncology nurses. These children have limited language and behavioural competencies. They are also constantly experiencing cancer pain originating from various sources. Their needs hence have to be interpreted by their parents. Besides other complex factors, the parental beliefs strongly influence the child's pain perception, expression and response. In most paediatric oncological nursing settings, every encounter between the nurse, the child's parents and the child constitutes a cultural encounter. In a dyadic relationship with the parents, the nurse needs to act as a culture broker bridging the cultural gap between the parents, the child and self, as well as between the parents, child and other health professionals.

In this article, the pain assessment and management of a preschool child with cancer, using the concept of culture brokering as a nursing strategy, is discussed.

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