Behavioral effects of chemotherapy in children with cancer

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Chemotherapy-related distress constitutes a medical and psychosocial management challenge with significant implications for patients’ adjustment to and compliance with anticancer therapy. Because of wide interpatient variability in levels of distress before and after chemotherapy, identifying the treatment and patient variables that act as risk factors for aversive reactions has become important. This article discusses the scope and determinants of chemotherapy-related nausea, vomiting, and behavioral distress in pediatric cancer patients, with special attention to anticipatory symptoms. Findings from a three-year prospective study of distress in children and adolescents receiving chemotherapy are summarized. The value of behavioral assessment studies is considered from the viewpoint of professionals’ ability to design for and target interventions selectively to patients who are at greatest risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 29 Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes


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