School performance of childhood cancer survivors in Korea: A multi-institutional study on behalf of the Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Meerim Park, Hyeon Jin Park, Jae Min Lee, Hee Young Ju, Byung Kiu Park, Eun Seung Yu, Hyung Kook Yang, Ji Yoon Kim, Sang Kyu Park, Young Ho Lee, Ye Jee Shim, Heung Sik Kim, Jun Ah Lee, Yeon Jung Lim, Hee Won Cheuh, Ji Kyoung Park, Mee Jeong Lee, Soon Ki Kim, Hyoung Soo Choi, Jeong Ok HahKyung Duk Park, Hyoung Jin Kang, Hee Young Shin

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate school performance of childhood cancer survivors focusing on the child's functioning, including peer relationships, school attendance, and academic achievement. Methods: We studied 241 children from 15 institutions in Korea between 2015 and 2016. The self-reported paper-and-pencil questionnaires were used. Results: Approximately 22% of the survivors suffered from lack of friends. Bullying was reported by 30% of survivors. Survivors who returned to primary school reported a higher incidence of bullying compared with survivors who returned to middle or high school (P = 0.03). The percentage of children who missed classes more than 4 days in a month was higher in survivors with brain tumors than those with other tumors (P = 0.04). Approximately 41% of children reported learning difficulty. After returning to school, 53% of the patients reported that they had lower overall mark averages than they had before. Patients who returned to high school showed the highest rate of repeating a grade and the lowest rate of achieving high academic marks. The school marks in the Korean (P = 0.03), English (P = 0.04), and physical education (P = 0.04) were worse for the children with brain tumors than for the children with other tumors. Conclusion: We found that 20% to 25% of survivors experienced peer-related difficulties upon returning to school. Patients who return to school, especially high school, should be provided more educational support to overcome low academic achievement. Particular concern is needed to the patients with brain tumors, who are at risk for significant academic and social difficulties and therefore may require more intensive support in school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2257-2264
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • cancer
  • children
  • return
  • school
  • support
  • survivor

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