Meeting the psychosocial needs of adolescents and their families during a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Evidence and practice    

Meeting the psychosocial needs of adolescents and their families during a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Romina Beentjes Staff nurse, Paediatric intensive care unit, St Mary’s Hospital, London
Andrea Cockett Lecturer in nursing education, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King’s College London, England

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), an oncological condition affecting blood-producing cells, is the most common type of childhood cancer. It is more common in younger children but the number of young people diagnosed is significant, with about 125 new cases diagnosed each year. While survival rates are high, diagnostic tests, symptoms and treatment regimens can have negative psychological and sociological implications for patients and their families.

This article examines the role of the registered children’s nurse in meeting the psychosocial needs of adolescents and their families during a diagnosis of ALL. The psychosocial needs considered in this article include those for information, emotional support, collaborative decision-making, education and socialisation. The article also considers physical health needs and financial concerns. The importance of focusing on patients’ and families’ concerns when arranging psychosocial support is highlighted, together with the requirement to reassess their needs continually throughout the trajectory of the illness.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2018.e1033

Citation

Beentjes R, Cockett A (2018) Meeting the psychosocial needs of adolescents and their families during a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2018.e1033

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

andrea.cockett@kcl.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 19 December 2018

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