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Pediatric surgery for childhood cancer: Lasting experiences and needs of children and parents

Pediatric surgery for childhood cancer: Lasting experiences and needs of children and parents
Pediatric surgery for childhood cancer: Lasting experiences and needs of children and parents
Objective: surgery for pediatric cancer presents many stresses on patients and families. The authors aimed to understand the long-term impact of childhood cancer surgery on survivors and parents.

Methods: the study recruited participants from 11 Australia/New Zealand hospitals for telephone interviews. The authors used descriptive statistics to analyse participants’ quantitative distress ratings and conducted thematic analysis of shared surgical experiences and needs.

Results: of 32 participants (n=17 survivors, n=15 parents), survivors’ mean age at surgery was 6.9 (SD=5.17) and parents’ children were 2.1 years old (SD=1.41) at time of surgery. Survivors had surgery on average 15.2 years ago (SD=6.72) and parents’ children 11.5 years ago (SD=3.94). Parents and survivors rated surgery as highly distressing. Preoperatively, survivors recalled experiencing fear and pain mainly associated with preoperative procedures. Postoperatively, survivors reported immobility and some lasting behavioral disturbances. Parents described pre- and intraoperative anxiety and stress and some lasting postoperative psychological disturbances. Experiences appeared to
improve with clear/consistent communication from hospital staff, proximity to hospital, and with support for parents and children postoperatively.

Conclusions: surgical treatment for childhood cancer can have a lasting impact for survivors and parents. Better information provision may improve families’ surgical experience whilst reducing anxiety, distress and physical discomfort.
0961-5423
Gabriel, Mark G.
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Wakefield, Claire E.
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Vetsch, Janine
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Karpelowsky, Jonathan S.
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Darlington, Anne-Sophie
472fcfc9-160b-4344-8113-8dd8760ff962
Cohn, Richard J.
cf1c651c-c51d-49b5-a43f-733bf1820ff0
Signorelli, Christina
08ed742e-82cd-4687-81cc-3ec5bf596ddb
Gabriel, Mark G.
906b6249-fb87-4d0e-aaf1-000a6ed581bd
Wakefield, Claire E.
e3077def-60a6-4da7-8d13-0a0ce10dc85d
Vetsch, Janine
0d6d617f-e9ff-4555-9f3c-39157d73a653
Karpelowsky, Jonathan S.
931d5ef3-4bdb-493b-8650-b6feefe1cb2d
Darlington, Anne-Sophie
472fcfc9-160b-4344-8113-8dd8760ff962
Cohn, Richard J.
cf1c651c-c51d-49b5-a43f-733bf1820ff0
Signorelli, Christina
08ed742e-82cd-4687-81cc-3ec5bf596ddb

Gabriel, Mark G., Wakefield, Claire E., Vetsch, Janine, Karpelowsky, Jonathan S., Darlington, Anne-Sophie, Cohn, Richard J. and Signorelli, Christina (2019) Pediatric surgery for childhood cancer: Lasting experiences and needs of children and parents. European Journal of Cancer Care, [e13116]. (doi:10.1111/ecc.13116).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: surgery for pediatric cancer presents many stresses on patients and families. The authors aimed to understand the long-term impact of childhood cancer surgery on survivors and parents.

Methods: the study recruited participants from 11 Australia/New Zealand hospitals for telephone interviews. The authors used descriptive statistics to analyse participants’ quantitative distress ratings and conducted thematic analysis of shared surgical experiences and needs.

Results: of 32 participants (n=17 survivors, n=15 parents), survivors’ mean age at surgery was 6.9 (SD=5.17) and parents’ children were 2.1 years old (SD=1.41) at time of surgery. Survivors had surgery on average 15.2 years ago (SD=6.72) and parents’ children 11.5 years ago (SD=3.94). Parents and survivors rated surgery as highly distressing. Preoperatively, survivors recalled experiencing fear and pain mainly associated with preoperative procedures. Postoperatively, survivors reported immobility and some lasting behavioral disturbances. Parents described pre- and intraoperative anxiety and stress and some lasting postoperative psychological disturbances. Experiences appeared to
improve with clear/consistent communication from hospital staff, proximity to hospital, and with support for parents and children postoperatively.

Conclusions: surgical treatment for childhood cancer can have a lasting impact for survivors and parents. Better information provision may improve families’ surgical experience whilst reducing anxiety, distress and physical discomfort.

Text
Pediatric surgery for childhood cancer: Lasting experiences and needs of children and parents - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 11 June 2020.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 May 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 June 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431658
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431658
ISSN: 0961-5423
PURE UUID: 6d9ca06c-86fa-475b-95c2-5771d147d11b

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Date deposited: 12 Jun 2019 16:30
Last modified: 30 Jul 2019 16:31

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Contributors

Author: Mark G. Gabriel
Author: Claire E. Wakefield
Author: Janine Vetsch
Author: Jonathan S. Karpelowsky
Author: Richard J. Cohn
Author: Christina Signorelli

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