Experiences of Pediatric Cancer Survivors

This chapter presents the study design, its setting, the sampling technique, the data collection process and the details of data analysis. In addition, the ethical considerations and study limitations are also discussed in the chapter.


Qualitative methods are utilized to generate knowledge about a new area of interest. Qualitative research methods are mostly descriptive in nature to bring out the subjective meaning of behaviors and attitudes (Polit & Beck, 2008). As there is no documented evidence for the issues encountered by cancer survivors in Pakistan, the researcher felt that the question about the experiences of cancer patients and their needs for care could be best upraised by following a naturalistic inquiry using a qualitative methodology.

Study Design

The descriptive explorative qualitative design was used in this study to explore the experiences of survivors of pediatric malignancies. In the process of developing new knowledge one or more characteristics of a specific population can be examined by utilizing descriptive designs whereas, exploratory designs are used when an in-depth exploration of a single process, variable or concept is required (Wood and Ross-Kerr, 2011). Hence, in order to delineate the characteristics and conduct an in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of survivorship, the descriptive exploratory design was employed for the study. This design offers flexibility to generate knowledge by ensuring less control of the researcher over the variable and allowing the manifestation of subjective experience of the cancer survivors.

Study Setting

There is substantial amount of evidence that over the past decade the incidence of lymphoma is on the increase in Karachi, (Bhurgri, 2004), and this is equally applicable to all pediatric cancers. Karachi is a metropolitan city with a population, representative of diverse cultural, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds from all over Pakistan. The study site, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) is located in Karachi and it receives patients from diverse financial and geographical backgrounds from all over Pakistan. These characteristics make AKUH suitable as the study setting.

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