Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour in children and is treated with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These children frequently experience long-term cognitive, social and physical sequelae, which significantly affect school reintegration.Aim.
This study aimed to explore school-return experiences to create a more structured school reintegration protocol for children postmedulloblastoma.Methods.
A cohort of nine patients who had completed treatment and for whom full neuropsychometric data were available was included in the study (median time since diagnosis 8 years). Data were collected using qualitative parental questionnaires, semistructured interviews with teachers (n = 12) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) (n = 6) involved in their school reintegration. Thematic analysis was employed. A focus group with five HCPs was then used for data validation.Results.
This study uncovered the following four main subjects: (1) Information sharing; (2) education and empowerment (of educational professionals (EP) and parents); (3) communication between parents, HCPs and EPs; and (4) long-term difficulties.Discussion.
Implementation of a standardised protocol delivered within the structure of a school passport document would aid uniform follow-up. The proposed multistage protocol includes early communication and reintegration planning followed by meetings at school re-entry. Follow-up meetings are suggested to reduce information loss and reassess the child's needs. Hospital support at school transitions, inclusion of school data in long-term clinical follow-up and long-term rehabilitation are also recommended. Each stage would be supported by school passport documentation and would facilitate school and parental empowerment, paramount to the long-term sustainability of successful schooling.