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Psychosocial care in the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of public hospitals in Argentina.

Psychosocial care in the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of public hospitals in Argentina.
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Farberman D, Méndez T, García L, Salvia L, Otarolac S, ,


Farberman D, Méndez T, García L, Salvia L, Otarolac S, , (click to view)

Farberman D, Méndez T, García L, Salvia L, Otarolac S, ,

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Archivos argentinos de pediatria 115(2) 110-117 doi http://dx.doi.org/10.5546/aap.2017.eng.110
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Blood diseases and cancer are part of a group of rare conditions in pediatrics. In general, cancer treatments are prolonged (months or years), so psychosocial support has been introduced to provide comprehensive care to these patients.

OBJECTIVE
To explore psychosocial care provided at the public hospitals of Argentina to children and adolescents with cancer. Population and Methods. An electronic questionnaire was sent to the heads of the Departments of Hematology and Oncology, Mental Health, and Social Services of 27 public hospitals providing care to pediatric patients with cancer. The survey included questions related to psychosocial care provided to this group of patients. Answers were collected and processed in the 2013-2014 period.

RESULTS
Of the total number of health care providers contacted, 62.6% (47/75) completed the questionnaire. As per hematologist-oncologists, the three specialties complied with the recommendations made by the International Society of Pediatric Oncology to a greater extent than that reported by the psychosocial area. Such difference was repeatedly observed in all answers. The standards that were observed more consistently were continuation of education and care of healthy siblings. The health care providers from the three specialties indicated that they lacked formal mechanisms to detect failures in treatment adherence in an early manner, although treatment withdrawal interventions were systematized. Providers from the psychosocial area indicated that human resources were lacking and perceived little interdisciplinary work.

CONCLUSIONS
This study reported partial adherence to the standards recommended by the International Society of Pediatric Oncology. The assessment made by hematologists-oncologists was different from that made by health care providers from the psychosocial area.

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