Effects of surviving cancer in childhood on young people’s social interactions: a literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Effects of surviving cancer in childhood on young people’s social interactions: a literature review

Daniel Pope Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Children’s Hospital, Oxford, England
Elizabeth Jestico Senior lecturer, Children’s Nursing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the psychological issues that children who have survived cancer may experience in later life

  • To understand how experiencing cancer in childhood might affect adolescents’ and young adults’ self-esteem, social development and relationships

  • To learn about a model that was developed to support family-centred care and childhood cancer survivors’ transition from hospital to community care

Survival rates for children with cancer continue to improve, so it is important to investigate the long-term effects of the disease that survivors may experience. The social interactions of children with cancer are often limited during a critical period of their social development; therefore, it may be beneficial to understand the potential consequences that this could subsequently have during their adolescence.

This article details an integrative literature review that explored the effects of being a survivor of cancer, diagnosed under the age of 18 years, on the social interactions of adolescents and young adults. Thematic analysis generated two overarching themes: evolving sense of self-esteem and evolving perspectives of relationships. The article discusses these themes and proposes an extended partnership model to support family-centred care, which acknowledges children’s developmental need for social interaction.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2021.e1777

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Pope D, Jestico E (2021) Effects of surviving cancer in childhood on young people’s social interactions: a literature review. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2021.e1777

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Dr Sarah Bekaert for her feedback and support during the drafting of this article, which is adapted from an undergraduate dissertation written as part of Daniel Pope’s pre-registration nursing degree at Oxford Brookes University

Published online: 26 August 2021

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