Pediatric oncology provider perspectives and practices: Supporting patients and families in schooling after cancer diagnosis

Kathy Ruble, Juliana Paré-Blagoev, Stacy Cooper, Lisa A. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cognitive limitations are common after childhood cancer and require assessment and support in the medical and school setting. Pediatric oncology providers are tasked with educating families about the side effects of disease/treatment, and supporting families as they navigate the associated challenges. Despite this important role, little is known about the training, practice, and knowledge of providers in the domain of cognitive/school impacts. Methods: An online survey was emailed to Children's Oncology Group (COG) member physicians in the United States. The survey consisted of 42 questions about training and practice, and 4 knowledge questions about neurocognitive impacts and school supports. Results: Surveys were completed by 282 physicians representing 64% of COG institutions and a diverse group of experience and institution size. The pediatric oncologist was reported most frequently (93%) as the person at their institution to provide information to families on this topic, yet 54% reported receiving no specific training in this area and the majority (66%) reported to only “somewhat” understand the issues pediatric oncology patients face when returning to school. A minority reported available institutional guidelines (42%) or screening tools (19%) to assist in making referrals or assessments. Knowledge questions concerning health conditions qualifying children for school supports received the fewest correct answers. The majority (77%) thought more training would be helpful. Conclusions: Additional training about cognitive impacts and schooling challenges associated with childhood cancer is needed to prepare providers to support parents/children. In addition, establishing policy guidelines and screening procedures may help support providers in providing care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere28166
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • pediatric hematology/oncology
  • schooling after cancer
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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