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December 19, 1980

Childhood Malignancy: The Psychosocial Care of the Child and His Family

JAMA. 1980;244(24):2770. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310240062034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The author has prepared a most useful "how-to" book for medical students, house officers, pediatric oncologists, pediatric oncology nurses, and administrators. Dr Adams describes clearly the organization and function of mental health services for a pediatric oncology unit, including the role of each participant.

More important for those concerned with patient care, and thus with family care, Dr Adams sympathetically describes in detail the psychological impact on the patient and family of the diagnosis of cancer and the various phases of cure achievement and disease progression. A 5 1/3-page table entitled "Childhood Leukemia: An Example of an Illness Cycle," correlates observations concerning families, family responses, and child responses, providing extremely useful insights, particularly for newcomers to pediatric oncology. This table together with the author's discussions of coping mechanisms should help staff members to understand and tolerate repetitious questions, forgotten discussions, and searches for other information, including that related to unorthodox