Pediatric cancer is a disease that afflicts an entire family. The threat that cancer poses to a family is enormous, most especially for the child in treatment. Psychosocial care is a necessary part of any pediatric cancer treatment plan as families experience a wide range of stresses. The introduction of psychosocial care with prescribed treatment can increase management of symptoms, increase adherence to treatment, and provide better outcomes and quality of life. It goes beyond the time the child is in active treatment. The “ask” is for funds to assist hospitals in implementing the established evidence based standards.
Psychosocial Program Needs (both short and long term):
Funds designated for psychosocial programs are used to provide families with access to counseling services, including psychiatric care and support-group activities as well as preparations for future visits and check-ins. Development of long-term psychosocial goals help prepare patients to look forward to, and to aid in the process of, survivorship. Psychosocial care is needed throughout the cancer trajectory, which includes end of life and bereavement care.