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Addressing Parent Uncertainty Using Technology

Our current featured article is titled “Designing Technology to Address Parent Uncertainty in Childhood Cancer,” authored by Caroline F. Morrison, MSN, RN; Lauren Szulczewski, PsyD; Laura F. Strahlendorf, BS; J. Blake Lane, BFA; Larry L. Mullins, PhD and Ahna L.H. Pai, PhD.  Ms. Morrison provided this background about this work for ANS readers:

I have been thinking a lot about the use of technology both in my daily life and in my practice.  In some ways, I think technology can be a hindrance to forming deep interpersonal relationships and developing verbal communication skills.  In other ways, technology can lead to new opportunities and growth.  When we Morrisoninterviewed families these two aspects of technology really came across- the ability to access information from trusted sources vetted by their healthcare team but also that technology cannot replace the trusted relationships they had formed with their providers.

Everyone faces uncertainty at some point in their lives, but for families of children with a new cancer diagnosis it’s really pronounced and often overwhelming.  In this study we designed the mobile application to accompany a randomized control trial of an intervention that aims to help parents address and manage uncertainty.  It was really important to us that families had a chance to form a relationship with the interventionist while having the convenience of the mobile application to consolidate information. Each intervention session has opportunities to interact with the application as we discuss uncertainty and how to manage it.  The application also contains information that we hope will be valuable and useful for families during their cancer journey.  So far we have had positive feedback and are looking forward to gaining more insight on family’s needs, application usage, and more in-depth field testing with the eventual goal of disseminating to a larger more diverse population of families.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our work with you! We hope you enjoy the article and welcome any feedback or comments.

You can download this article at no cost while it is featured on the ANS website!  We would be delighted to hear from you!


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