Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effects of childhood cancer on long-term survivors and their families.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 19 May 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:1327
  1. B Peck


    Problems experienced by families of long-term survivors of acute lymphatic leukaemia and Wilms's tumour were investigated to find out the best way of using limited resources to improve management of such patients. All patients had received treatment at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, and all had completed treatment at least two years before the study. A social worker interviewed the parents of each child. The results showed that various aspects of management needed improvement, including: information given to parents at diagnosis of their child's illness and during subsequent treatment; continuity of care and multidisciplinary teamwork among those caring for the child; greater understanding by school teachers that such children have the same educational needs as others; wider communication by hospital staff with the child's other relatives, particularly grandparents; financial help for parents; and marital counselling. To help implement these proposals full-time social workers were attached to the hospital. Preliminary results were encouraging, though it is too early to evaluate the long-term effects of the changes.