Psychosocial Aspects of Radiotherapy in Pediatric Cancer Patients

Shulamith Kreitler, Elena Krivoy, Amos Toren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter deals with psychosocial effects of radiotherapy (RT) in pediatric cancer patients. The presented materials are based on empirical studies referring specifically to RT. Short-term effects of RT indicate the distress of the pediatric patients which is due especially to physical side effects and having to stay alone and immobilized during RT. Intervention methods to reduce anxiety and the need for anesthesia focus on diverting attention, providing information and teaching coping skills. Major long-term effects of RT concern cognitive and social adjustment. The main cognitive effects of CRT and RT are a decline in IQ and deficits in processing speed, memory and attention that worsen over time and occur especially in children irradiated at a younger age. However, overall academic performance is affected also by environmental factors sometimes overriding the deficits due to disease and RT. The major social and behavioral effects concern interpersonal relations and difficulties in social adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric Psycho-Oncology
Subtitle of host publicationPsychosocial Aspects and Clinical Interventions: Second Edition
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781119998839
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2012


  • Anesthesia
  • Attention
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Distress
  • IQ
  • Memory
  • Radiotherapy
  • Social adjustment


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