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Psychosocial adaptation following the diagnosis and treatment of childhood and adolescent cancer: an integrated approach

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dc.contributor.advisor Ms. B. Radebe en
dc.contributor.author Mcloughlin, Heather Allen
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-06T07:29:53Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-06T07:29:53Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-06T07:29:53Z
dc.date.submitted 2002-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1538
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Childhood and adolescent cancer has evolved fro m being an inevitably fatal disease to a life-threatening chronic disease. Because many children and adolescents are surviving their disease it is important for the child or adolescent with cancer to be psychosocially prepared to lead a full and active life after treatment has been completed. The aim of this mini dissertation is to review the international literature pertaining to psychosocial adaptation during and following the diagnosis and treatment of childhood and adolescent cancer. Aspects, which are explored in this review, are the role of psychoneuroimmunology and the biopsychosocial approach to investigation and research in psychological research, psychosocial adaptation of childhood and adolescent cancer survivors as well as Quality of Life issues pertaining to the development of psychosocial intervention programs in cancer care. Special attention is given to literature pertaining to trauma spectrum symptoms and traumatic stress sequela with specific reference to patients with childhood and adolescent cancer such as Osteosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas (hereafter Bone Sarcomas). Meaning making in relation to trauma is referred to briefly. Literature examining the role resilience plays in the psychosocial adaptation of adolescent cancer patient as well as the need for a resilience centred approach in research are also be explored. Following an extensive literature search it became clear that most of the international literature explores psychosocial issues regarding childhood or paediatric cancer at length, but that those issues pertaining to adolescent cancer are largely neglected. After examining the South African literature it furthermore became clear that there is no formal psychosocial intervention program available to adolescent cancer patients in South Africa at present. This includes that group of adolescent cancer patients presenting with Bone Sarcomas. It seems that this group presents with unique challenges due to the integrated surgical and oncological treatment, which they undergo. The limited amount of relevant literature pertaining to psychosocial adaptation of child and adolescent cancer patients in South Africa also became apparent. It furthermore became apparent that it is advisable that the child and adolescent patient should not be investigated together in single research studies as age difference and developmental phase of both patient and family seem crucial to the accurate outcomes of such studies. An important conclusion, which can be drawn, is that adolescent and childhood cancer patients and survivors are a group of patients who seem to have been psychosocially neglected in South Africa. Meticulous and relevant research in the field of adolescent psycho oncology is thus needed in order to be able to adequately ascertain the psyc hosocial needs of this group of patients. Only then can an effective psychosocial support program aimed at their specific needs be devised. Such a program can then be implemented in order to redress the shortcomings in the psychosocial care of adolescent cancer patients suffering from the specific types of cancer such as Bone Sarcoma, which is so prevalent in this age group. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Cancer in children en
dc.subject Cancer in adolescence en
dc.subject Quality of life en
dc.subject Stress (Psychology) en
dc.title Psychosocial adaptation following the diagnosis and treatment of childhood and adolescent cancer: an integrated approach en
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en

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