Psychological & Social Effects

Stress & behavioural changes in children:

Treatments can impact the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of children. They may experience mood swings or confusion about their diagnosis and their parents’ reactions. It is important to spend time listening to children and understanding their feelings to help them cope.

Disruption to school:

Children have to stop school temporarily until their doctor gives the go-ahead. Parents need to consider positive ways to engage and occupy the children. It is useful to inform the school of the children’s conditions, maintain contact periodically and work with the schools to help with their re-integration after treatment.

Anxiety over long-term effects of illness & treatment:

Some treatments may have long-term effects on children, and more information can be obtained from the doctor.

Coping with marital strain & employment issues:

Couples may experience strain and tension due to the stress of taking care of a sick child and having less time together. Stress may also take the form of employers not understanding the situation. It is helpful for couples to communicate their worries and feelings and work out solutions together. Support systems like extended family members can be tapped upon to help care for children so that parents can rest.