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Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine
Original articles
Published online: 2002-10-30
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The assessment of mental state of children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Eleonora Mess
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2003;2(1):9-22.

open access

Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine
Original articles
Published online: 2002-10-30

Abstract

This paper focuses on mental state in children recovered from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). The study aimed at the assessment of their negative emotions, in particular anxiety, as well as objective and subjective indexes of health. A total of 31 children, that had been treated in the past for ALL, were interviewed. Case records from the hospital, the interview questionnaires and standardized psychological tests (adapted to the age of respondents) measuring the level of anxiety were analysed. In the majority of children the level of anxiety was normal. However, many different psychological problems were found. Survivors could not focus their attention for longer periods of time, experienced nervous exhaustion and depression, behaved aggressively to close relatives. Many children suffered due to school phobia and were uncertain about their relationship with peers. Both the level of anxiety and expression of other negative emotions increased with the number of physical complications after anti-ALL therapy. Such complications affected negatively their physical activity and achievements at school. It is suggested that the illness and subsequent therapy can handicap education. The course of therapy had an influence on the mental state of survivors; this effect was most clear in the tendency toward lowering of self-rating in children.

Abstract

This paper focuses on mental state in children recovered from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). The study aimed at the assessment of their negative emotions, in particular anxiety, as well as objective and subjective indexes of health. A total of 31 children, that had been treated in the past for ALL, were interviewed. Case records from the hospital, the interview questionnaires and standardized psychological tests (adapted to the age of respondents) measuring the level of anxiety were analysed. In the majority of children the level of anxiety was normal. However, many different psychological problems were found. Survivors could not focus their attention for longer periods of time, experienced nervous exhaustion and depression, behaved aggressively to close relatives. Many children suffered due to school phobia and were uncertain about their relationship with peers. Both the level of anxiety and expression of other negative emotions increased with the number of physical complications after anti-ALL therapy. Such complications affected negatively their physical activity and achievements at school. It is suggested that the illness and subsequent therapy can handicap education. The course of therapy had an influence on the mental state of survivors; this effect was most clear in the tendency toward lowering of self-rating in children.
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Keywords

children; leukaemia; anxiety; emotional state

About this article
Title

The assessment of mental state of children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine

Pages

9-22

Published online

2002-10-30

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2003;2(1):9-22.

Keywords

children
leukaemia
anxiety
emotional state

Authors

Eleonora Mess

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