Multiprofessional follow-up programmes are needed to address psychosocial, neurocognitive and educational issues in children with brain tumours

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Abstract

Aim:

The aim of this study was to coordinate the structured psychosocial, neurocognitive and educational follow-up of children treated for brain tumours with the medical protocol and apply the model in two Swedish healthcare regions.

Methods:

We invited all children living in the two regions, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour from October 1, 2010, through June 30, 2012, to participate along with their parents. The follow-up programme evaluated the emotional status of the parents and patients and assessed the children's general cognitive level, working memory, speed of performance, executive functions and academic achievement from diagnosis through to adult care.

Results:

During the study period, 61 children up to the age of 17.1 years were diagnosed with a brain tumour, but 18 of these were excluded for various reasons. The majority of the mothers (70%) displayed significantly poor emotional status, as did 34% of the fathers and 21% of the children. The majority of the children (57%) also showed poor neurocognitive performance and needed special adaptations at school (66%).

Conclusion:

Our findings indicate the need for coordinated, multiprofessional follow-up programmes, well anchored in the healthcare organisation, for children diagnosed with brain tumours

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