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Parents’ Interpersonal Distance and Touch Behavior and Child Pain and Distress during Painful Pediatric Oncology Procedures

  • Amy M. Peterson
  • Rebecca J. W. Cline
  • Tanina S. Foster
  • Louis A. Penner
  • Roxanne L. Parrott
  • Christine M. Keller
  • Michael C. Naughton
  • Jeffrey W. Taub
  • John C. Ruckdeschel
  • Terrance L. Albrecht
Original Paper

Abstract

Children with cancer and their parents report that treatment-related procedures are more traumatic and painful than cancer itself. Competing hypotheses have emerged regarding relations between parents’ social support and child pain and distress. Little is known about caregivers’ use of nonverbal immediacy behaviors that may function as social support messages. This study describes caregivers’ interpersonal distance and touch behaviors during painful pediatric oncology procedures and examines relations between those behaviors and children’s pain and distress. Caregivers’ total touch time and instrumental (task-oriented) touch time, but not supportive touch time, during the actual procedure covaried with children’s procedural pain and distress.

Keywords

Distress Interpersonal distance Nonverbal immediacy Pain Pediatric cancer Social support Touch 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy M. Peterson
    • 1
  • Rebecca J. W. Cline
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tanina S. Foster
    • 1
  • Louis A. Penner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roxanne L. Parrott
    • 3
  • Christine M. Keller
    • 1
  • Michael C. Naughton
    • 1
  • Jeffrey W. Taub
    • 4
    • 5
  • John C. Ruckdeschel
    • 6
    • 7
  • Terrance L. Albrecht
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Communication and Behavioral OncologyBarbara Ann Karmanos Cancer InstituteDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine and Public Health SciencesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of Communication Arts & SciencesThe Pennsylvania State University University ParkUSA
  4. 4.Division of Pediatric Hematology/OncologyChildren’s Hospital of MichiganDetroitUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  6. 6.Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer InstituteDetroitUSA
  7. 7.Division of Internal MedicineWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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