Date of Publication
Dr. Susan Lowey, PhD, RN, CHPN, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing
Charlotte, age seven, is playing with the toys at the doctor’s office. Meanwhile, her parents’ minds have gone blank, and their ears are ringing with the news. Faces drained of color and painted with looks of pain and fear, they stare forward in a hypnotic state as the physician declares the diagnosis. Charlotte has cancer. The disease is not sparing of even the youngest in our world, cruel as it may seem to some. However, cancer does not discriminate between the children and the elderly, or anyone in between. Now, what does this mean for Charlotte and her parents? There are several aspects of care which must be planned out, inclusive of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. Psychological care of cancer patients is one of the vital components in a plan of care. Psychological care involves treating the mind, as opposed to physical care which treats ailments within the body. Psychological treatment works to amend deficits in emotional, behavioral, or mental functioning (Psychological treatments, 2019). This form of care focuses on reducing the patient’s symptoms, furthering the understanding of their mental illness, comprehending problems in their thought processing and working to resolve them, altering their current maladaptive behaviors, and improving their quality of life (Psychological treatments, 2019). Such care can be provided in an individualized setting, a group setting, and even online. There are subcategories of treatment that cater to an individual’s needs depending on what they are grappling with, cognitively and behaviorally.
Dunning, Kaitlin, "Psychological Care for Childhood Cancer Patients" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 289.