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Ways of improving communication with children and adolescents about their cancer

Ranmal R, Prictor M, Scott JT
Published Online: 
18 April 2012

Communicating about cancer may help some children and adolescents understand the disease and its treatment and help them cope better with their cancer.

Children and adolescents with cancer face many issues and may benefit from greater opportunities to talk to health professionals. Concerns about their illness and its treatment can result in psychological, behavioural and developmental problems. Various methods of communication have been designed to provide better access to the knowledge and understanding these children and adolescents require. The review of trials found that specific information-giving programs, support before and during particular procedures, and school reintegration programs may benefit children and adolescents with cancer when individual factors such as their age, level of understanding and medical condition have been considered. More research is needed.