childhood cancer, comfort, discomfort, drawing, dying child



  1. Angstrom-Brannstrom, Charlotte RNT, PhD
  2. Dahlqvist, Vera RNT, PhD
  3. Norberg, Astrid RN, PhD


Children with progressive cancer often suffer during treatment and at the end of their life, and they need comfort. This study's aim was to describe a child's experiences of being cared for until death, with a focus on discomfort and comfort. Conversations, field notes, drawings, and interviews with the child and his mother and nurse were content analyzed. The themes "enduring unbearable situations," "expressing emotional suffering," and "finding comfort" were constructed. The children's parents and other family members are often a significant source of help for the children to endure discomfort and find comfort. Emotional suffering can be expressed in drawing and crying, but sometimes, a child is inconsolable and must endure discomfort. Comfort for a dying child is enhanced by having the family close, experiencing normal daily activities such as drawing and playing, and feeling at home in life despite approaching death.