When a grandchild develops cancer - 2022 - News - Current - Kinderkrebsschweiz

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When a grandchild develops cancer

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it is a profound and radical moment for the whole family. Everyday life is turned upside down; the respective roles between the parents may change, and siblings receive less attention. Grandparents look after the sick grandchild in hospital and the siblings at home and are often an important support for the parents. Although grandparents often see it as their duty to give the family a sense of stability, they are also deeply affected by the grandchild's illness. They experience a variety of emotions, such as worry, anger or helplessness. The few studies that have been conducted on this so far have shown that grandparents of children with cancer experience significantly more stress and anxiety than grandparents of healthy children.

The "GROkids" project is being conducted by the University of Lucerne and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. It aims at learning more about the needs and roles of grandparents during a grandchild's cancer illness. The project consists of two questionnaire studies and oral interviews. Its outcome will help to develop information materials and support services tailored to the needs of grandparents. It will also give insight into the importance of the grandparents‘ work  for the affected families.

Kinderkrebs Schweiz supports the project by helping to find study participants. We would like to invite all families and grandparents of a child with cancer to participate in one of the two questionnaire studies and/or an oral interview. The study will be conducted in German, French and Italian.

For all further information, please contact :

Ms Prof. Gisela Michel (study director)

Pauline Holmer (research assistant)
paulineholmer@unilu.ch, +41 41 229 59 48