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The Impact of Cancer and its Treatment on the Growth and Development of the Pediatric Patient

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 1 ]


Sarah Brand*, Joanne Wolfe and Chase Samsel   Pages 24 - 33 ( 10 )


Background: Cancer treatment can have profound effects on the growth and development of pediatric patients. Different models of psychosocial development and behavioral treatment approaches aid children receiving medical treatment. Providing education, anticipatory guidance, and individualized support to child and their families is a psychosocial standard.

Objective: Clarify the different models of psychosocial development and applicable psychosocial interventions to better prepare and tailor cancer treatment to pediatric patients.

Methods: Authors reviewed existing evidenced-based literature in oncology, psychology, developmental, and psychiatric while drawing on case examples and expert knowledge to illustrate the impact of cancer treatment on pediatric patients, analyze developmentally individualized needs, and describe facilitative interventions.

Result: Pediatric patients of all ages cope and adjust better to all phases of treatment when their care is delivered in a developmentally-informed and psychosocially thoughtful way.

Conclusion: Providers can comprehensively prepare their patients and families for treatment better by utilizing a psychosocially- and developmentally-informed framework while meeting individualized unique needs of patients. An integrated multidisciplinary psychosocial support team is facilitative in anticipating and meeting the needs of pediatric cancer patients and has recently become a psychosocial standard of care.


Adjustment, cancer, cognitive, coping, development, growth, pediatric, psychosocial.


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, SW360E, Boston, MA 02115, Department of Medicine, Boston Children`s Hospital, MA, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

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