by Zahir Ali | Karachi, Pakistan
Goal: The main aim of the project is to alleviate the psychological suffering
The ability of the child and the family to adapt to this new reality and the consequential life altering changes has a tremendous effect on the course of treatment. The child and the family use coping mechanisms which can be adaptive or maladaptive as a result not only the patient but their parents are at a higher risk of developing psychological problems. The innate resiliency of the child and family is challenged. The need of psychological support to the child and family is of enormous importance which helps to lay the groundwork for promoting good communications and healthy psychological adjustment for the child and family across the complete course of treatment. Previously, the hope of long-term survival for children diagnosed with cancer was remote. Advances in pediatric oncology have demonstrated the need for comprehensive psychosocial treatment programs for children with cancer and their families. Even with advancements achieved to prolong life, childhood cancer is still associated with death, incurability, loss, and suffering. The family is required to adapt to a new situation that involves long hospitalizations, aggressive therapy, many losses, and changes in family relationships and routines that may hinder the child and the family in performing tasks inherent to the developmental process. The interruption of school and social routines, the suspension of leisure activities, changes in diet, self-image and self-conception, uncertainty of how the treatment will progress, doubts, periodical hospitalization, physical pain, separation from family members and familiar places, losses that harm socialization and interfere in personal relationships. Difficulties for the parents include fear of relapse, anxiety, the need to assimilate information received, care provided to healthy children, attempts to adapt to the new health condition, provide care in the event of side effects, and care provided for intercurrences, among other situations, which harm the family’s quality of life. Considering the dreadful context to which the family is exposed, it is important to identify the psychosocial impact imposed and to understand their experiences and devise efficient psychosocial interventions. This program will focus on the psychosocial aspects involved in the treatment of childhood cancer, emphasizing psychosocial difficulties. We support our patient by alleviating their pain, providing nutrition and nourishment, education not for newly hired nurses but to the patient and to their families and financial support to the children of low incomes families. But in the psychological aspect of support we are not well developed and we don’t program to decrease their suffering. For long term stay patient we send them on short leaves in order to relief of psychological distress.