Newswise — Chicago (Oct. 13, 2015) – The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) has endorsed the Psychosocial Standards of Care for Children with Cancer and their families to be published in a 2015 special issue of Pediatric Blood and Cancer. The scientific, evidence-based psychosocial standards define a minimum level of care that all children with cancer and their families should receive. The Standards were developed following rigorous research and academic requirements and processes, and involved over 60 clinicians and researchers from the US, Canada and the Netherlands.
The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation spearheaded the effort to create and implement Standards of Care to ensure patients and families have access to a minimum level of psychosocial care from the time of diagnosis, through survivorship, or end of life and bereavement care. “Having our child diagnosed with cancer, undergo treatment, and die from this disease, we learned that childhood cancer is not just about the medicine! The psychological impact of childhood cancer is just as real as the physical consequences for patients and their families," said Vicki and Peter Brown, Co-Founders of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation and parents of Mattie Brown.
Kathleen Ruccione, APHON President, was a driving force in APHON endorsing the Psychosocial Standards of Care as submitted. Ruccione stated, “Because pediatric oncology nurses have long recognized the importance of meeting the psychosocial needs of children with cancer and their families, I am particularly pleased that APHON has endorsed the Psychosocial Standards of Care. We look forward to collaborating across disciplines for the dissemination, adoption and implementation of the Standards.”
The development of the Psychosocial Standards of Care is a major step forward in addressing the needs of children with cancer and their families. The integration of psychosocial care along with disease-directed treatment improves the quality of life across the cancer trajectory. Depression and other psychosocial concerns can affect adherence to treatment regimens and decrease coping abilities. Therefore, making psychosocial care part of standard treatment maximizes positive treatment outcomes.
Once the Psychosocial Standards of Care for Children with Cancer and Their Families have been published later this year, The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation and the team of pediatric oncology experts will work to encourage the rapid adoption of the Standards in clinical sites throughout the country. Learn more at http://www.mattiemiracle.com.
APHON is the professional organization for pediatric hematology/oncology nurses and other pediatric hematology/oncology healthcare professionals. Its members are dedicated to promoting optimal nursing care for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders, and their families. APHON provides the leadership and expertise to pediatric hematology/oncology nurses by defining and promoting the highest standards of practice and care to the pediatric, adolescent and young adult communities.