Korean parents’ perceptions of the challenges and needs on school re-entry during or after childhood and adolescent cancer: a multi-institutional survey by Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
- Jun Ah Lee; Jae Min Lee; Hyeon Jin Park; Meerim Park; Byung Kiu Park; Hee Young Ju; Ji Yoon Kim; Sang Kyu Park; Young Ho Lee; Ye Jee Shim; Heung Sik Kim; Kyung Duk Park; Yeon-Jung Lim; Hee Won Chueh; Ji Kyoung Park; Soon Ki Kim; Hyoung Soo Choi; Hyo Seop Ahn; Jeong Ok Hah; Hyoung Jin Kang; Hee Young Shin; Mee Jeong Lee
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- School re-entry; Childhood cancer; Parents
For children and adolescents with cancer, going back to school is a key milestone in returning to “normal life.”
To identify the support vital for a successful transition, we evaluated the parents’ needs and the challenges they face when their children return to school.
This multi-institutional study was conducted by the Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. The written survey comprised 24 questions and was completed by 210 parents without an interviewer.
Most parents (165 of 206) reported that their children experienced difficulties with physical status (n=60), peer relationships (n=30), academic performance (n=27), emotional/behavioral issues (n=11), and relationships with teachers (n=4) on reentering school. Parents wanted to be kept informed about and remain involved in their children’s school lives and reported good parent-teacher communication (88 of 209, 42.1%). Parents reported that 83.1% and 44.9% of teachers and peers, respectively, displayed an adequate understanding of their children’s condition. Most parents (197 of 208) answered that a special program is necessary to facilitate return to school after cancer therapy that offers emotional support (n=85), facilitates social adaptation (n=61), and provides tutoring to accelerate catch up (n=56), and continued health care by hospital outreach and school personnel (n=50).
In addition to scholastic aptitude-oriented programs, emotional and psychosocial support is necessary for a successful return to school. Pediatric oncologists should actively improve oncology practices to better integrate individualized school plans and educate peers and teachers to improve health literacy to aid them in understanding the needs of children with cancer.
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