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Minerva Pediatrica 2017 December;69(6):551-5

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.16.04079-2


lingua: Inglese

Pilot guidelines for the use of bidirectional webcams with children suffering from advanced-stage oncological diseases

Barbara GIACON 1 , Veronica BIASSONI 1, Carlo A. CLERICI 2, 3, Filippo SPREAFICO 1, Cristina MEAZZA 1, Laura VENERONI 1, 3, Maura MASSIMINO 1

1 Unit of Pediatric Oncology, National Cancer Institute and Foundation for Scientific Research, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical Pyschology, National Cancer Institute and Foundation for Scientific Research, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Surgical and Medical Physiopathology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy


This paper presents guidelines for school staff on the use of bidirectional webcams for the sake of school continuity with school children suffering from malignant tumors. These guidelines are designed to inform school staff about the interests of the main actors involved in the interaction (sick child, classmates, teachers). Repeated clinical observations were conducted after virtual school attendance (requested by parents) of children treated at the Pediatric Oncology Unit. During virtual school attendance, the school staff requested counseling from the psychological team of the National Cancer Institute and Foundation for Scientific Research regarding some difficulties which had arisen, namely: 1) the sick patient’s difficulties due to functional impairment and fear of possible shame experiences resulting from physical changes; 2) classmates’ difficulties due to emotional ties with the sick child and dynamics of identification; 3) professional and personal difficulties of teachers. This paper aims at introducing some guidelines to guide the principal and teachers at school in the adoption and use of webcams for children suffering from malignant tumors. The importance of acquiring information on the opinion of the sick child (to adopt the webcam) and of the classmates is highlighted. Another important point is the teachers’ need to consider their own and other actors’ emotional reactions, and the possible involvement and/or support of a clinical psychologist.

KEY WORDS: Medical oncology - Pediatrics - Psychology, clinical - Guidelines as topic - Schools

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