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Facilitation of school re-entry and peer acceptance of children with cancer: a review and meta-analysis of intervention studies

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Increased survival rates from childhood cancer call for efforts to reintegrate children with cancer back into their academic and social environments. The aims of this study were to: (1) review and analyse the existing literature on school re-entry interventions for children with cancer; and (2) discuss the importance of peer involvement in the treatment. Relevant databases were searched using equivalent search algorithms and six studies were selected that target children with cancer and/or their classmates. Two authors independently reviewed the literature for data extraction. The articles were reviewed using the PRISMA model for reporting reviews. Statistical calculations for the meta-analyses were done using Review Manager 5.2. The meta-analyses showed significant effects of school re-entry programmes in terms of enhancing academic achievement in children with cancer (P = 0.008) and lowering their levels of depression (P = 0.05). Increased knowledge among classmates was associated with less fear and a more positive attitude towards the child with cancer. Due to limited numbers of patients, lack of control groups, and the diversity of intervention strategies used in previous studies, there is a need for intervention programmes exploring the optimal path for the reintegration of children with cancer into the education system and into their peer groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)170-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 45105534