New research in cooperation with Barncancerfonden

Each year approximately 70 children in Sweden receive treatment for brain tumours. Many of them suffer from long term effects, which may prevent them from participating in certain school activities. Now researchers from Jönköping University, with financial support from Barncancerfonden, will investigate how the participation of these children in school activities may be facilitated.

Children with brain tumours often suffer from more long term effects after the treatment has ended, than children who have been treated for other types of cancer. The effects may be endocrine disorders or physical, emotional, behavioural or cognitive difficulties.

Many earlier research studies highlight the problems connected to the disease and treatment that these children experience, but there are few studies focusing on the obstacles that may exist in their surroundings and that may influence the possibilities of the child to take part in school activities. Approximately 40 percent of the young adults that have been treated for brain tumours express a need for more support in relation to education and behaviour.

Associate Professor Maria Björk at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, now has received 2.5 MSEK from Barncancerfonden for a project on everyday support for children whose treatment has ended. The funds will be used for a four-year Ph.D. position in the project, which starts in September 2016.

The purpose of the new research project, Supporting everyday life in children who have ended treatment for brain tumor - An intervention study, is to describe what children, parents and staff (teachers and nurses) experience as problematic or facilitating in relation to the children’s participation in school activities. The purpose is also to test if a structured supporting method influences the health of the children (6-18 years), who have ended their brain tumour treatment, and makes it easier for them to take part in school activities.

As a first part of the project, children, parents and staff will be interviewed on what factors they experience as facilitating and inhibiting respectively for the possibilities of the child to participate in school activities. In the next step, ten children and their parents will take part in a so-called interventional study to find out what support can be given to the children to enable them to join different school activities.

The knowledge from the study will be used for testing a structured supporting method in a school environment. The knowledge is also expected to have a positive effect on the health of these children and their possibilities to take part in activities at school.

For more information, please contact Associate Professor Maria Björk Öppnas i nytt fönster..