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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:1539-44. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S42404. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Spirituality in childhood cancer care.

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  • 1Health Sciences Postgraduate Program, ABC Region Medical School, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

To deal with the suffering caused by childhood cancer, patients and their families use different coping strategies, among which, spirituality appears a way of minimizing possible damage. In this context, the purpose of the present study was to analyze the influence of spirituality in childhood cancer care, involving biopsychosocial aspects of the child, the family, and the health care team facing the disease. To accomplish this purpose, a nonsystematic review of literature of articles on national and international electronic databases (Scientific Electronic Library Online [SciELO], PubMed, and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature [LILACS]) was conducted using the search terms "spirituality," "child psychology," "child," and "cancer," as well as on other available resources. After the search, 20 articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the final sample. Our review showed that the relation between spirituality and health has lately become a subject of growing interest among researchers, as a positive influence of spirituality in the people's welfare was noted. Studies that were retrieved using the mentioned search strategy in electronic databases, independently assessed by the authors according to the systematic review, showed that spirituality emerges as a driving force that helps pediatric patients and their families in coping with cancer. Health care workers have been increasingly attentive to this dimension of care. However, it is necessary to improve their knowledge regarding the subject. The search highlighted that spirituality is considered a source of comfort and hope, contributing to a better acceptance of his/her chronic condition by the child with cancer, as well as by the family. Further up-to-date studies facing the subject are, thus, needed. It is also necessary to better train health care practitioners, so as to provide humanized care to the child with cancer.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; child; child psychology; neoplasms; spirituality

PMID:
24133371
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3797236
Free PMC Article

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