Methods:

A modified qualitative systematic review with a descriptive qualitative research methodology. Using two critical appraisal tools 6 studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Results:

Thematic analysis was used to systematically organise the findings into four themes: social functioning; school; resilience; self-perception and loss of normality and education; and communication. Results showed persistently lower scores and reduced coping strategies in maintaining physical, emotional and social resilience, reduced quality of life and loss of normality and social functioning, compared to healthy peers.

Conclusion:

Physical, emotional, psychological and social resilience is greatly reduced, resulting in a sense of loss of control and normality leading to social isolation and a change in their sense of self perception and inability to maintain their basic needs and activities of daily living. The deficits in the literature highlights the need for further qualitative studies on the actual lived experience of the adolescents in order that achievements, social interaction, social acceptance, emotional and social resilience is comparable to their healthy peer group. Further research will assist health care professionals in providing a more comprehensive approach to care and lead to reintegration post treatment from a place of illness to health through on going parallel care planning from the outset of treatment throughout care and into long term follow up robust care pathways.

Authors:

Helen Queen

Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Oncology Department