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Med Pediatr Oncol. 2003 Jun;40(6):380-4.

Homebound schooling is the least favorable option for continued education of adolescent cancer patients: a preliminary report.

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Office of Curriculum, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



With an overall objective to improve the educational programs of pediatric cancer patients, the purpose of this study was to compare the quality of educational experiences of adolescent cancer patients undergoing treatment while enrolled in hospital, homebound, or community schools.


Ten students, 12-17 years of age at diagnosis, their parent and their teachers were interviewed with a structured list of open-ended questions designed to assess their perceptions of their homebound, hospital, and community school experiences. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative methods for recurring themes.


High achieving students engaged in extracurricular activities prior to diagnosis performed well academically in all three schooling situations. Those less engaged in school prior to diagnosis did poorly in homebound schools, better in their community schools, and best in the hospital school.


Homebound learning during cancer therapy does not appear to be as meaningful as either hospital or community learning environments. Prior academic performance, as well as social, emotional, and health factors should be considered in selecting the most appropriate formal school environment for adolescent cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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