Paediatric Illness: The Role of Social Context in Childhood Cancer
Connolly, J. (2008) Paediatric Illness: The Role of Social Context in Childhood Cancer, The Irish Psychologist, vol. 34, , pp. 267-270,
The impact and interaction of paediatric illness on child, family and the broader social context represent key areas of concern for both researcher and practitioner. The prevalence of paediatric chronic illness has been estimated at as high as 19% (Newacheck & Stoddard, 1994). In the past many paediatric illnesses were identified, treated, and conceptualised within a biomedical context which left little room for the examination of how other factors such as social context may contribute. This was, in part, due to the dominance of the biomedical model (Ogden, 2004) but also due to the fact that, historically, many paediatric illnesses had survival rates as low as 26% (Patenaude & Kupst, 2005). This resulted in a tendency to focus on mortality and a reduction in attention to psychosocial factors (Eiser, 1994). Paediatric cancer serves as a useful example of this.