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Childhood Cancer

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330 Cancer occurs at the cellular level, the “building blocks”
331 of the body [[FootNote(“Cancer”. In !''MedlinePlus''.
332 Retrieved from [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancer.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancer.html])]].
333 It is a mistake in the copying of cells. Cells will grow where they are not
334 needed and not die when they are supposed to. Groupings of these cells are
335 called tumors. Tumors come in two types, benign and malignant. Benign tumors
336 are not considered cancer [[FootNote(“Cancer”. In !''MedlinePlus''. Retrieved from [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancer.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancer.html])]].
337 Malignant tumors can spread to other parts of the body and invade other
338 tissues. Common treatments for cancer are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
339
340
341
342 Children can get cancer like adults can, but with some
343 differences. Cancer in children can occur without warming or symptoms, but have
344 a high rate of cure [[FootNote(“Cancer in Children”. In !''MedlinePlus''. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancerinchildren.html)]].
345 Common cancers are leukemia, brain tumors, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma [[FootNote(“Cancer
346 in Children”. In !''MedlinePlus''.
347 -
Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancerinchildren.html)]]. Children
+
Retrieved from [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancerinchildren.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancerinchildren.html])]]. Children
348 with cancer face possible isolation, loss of control of their lives in
349 hospitals, and biopsychosocial conditions related to their illness
350 [[FootNote(Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz, A., !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K., Fluke, J.
351 D., USA, American Humane Association. (2012). Canines and childhood cancer:
352 Examining the effects of therapy dogs with childhood cancer patients and their
353 families. 1-34.)]].
354
355
356
357 Therapy animals are being investigated regarding their
358 efficacy in improving the quality of life (QOL) for children with cancer [[FootNote(Urbanski,
359 BL., Lazenby, M. (2012). Distress among hospitalized pediatric cancer patients
360 modified by pet-therapy intervention to improve quality of life. ''Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing''.
361 29(5). 272-82.)]]. Even for adults, undergoing chemotherapy, hospital visits,
362 and treatment can be daunting and stressful. Animals provide a source of
363 comfort and stability for children (similar to other areas of research,
364 Depression and Cardiovascular Health). Studies have found that the presence of
365 animals can help the child be more social, more comfortable, feel less
366 isolated, and comply with their treatment guidelines [[FootNote(Jenkins, M.,
367 Ruchrdanz, A., !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K., Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane
368 Association. (2012). Canines and childhood cancer: Examining the effects of
369 therapy dogs with childhood cancer patients and their families. 1-34.)]].
370
371
372
373 == State of Current Research ==
374
375
376
377 Pet ownership, animal assisted activities, and animal
378 assisted therapy fit the National Institute of Health’s criteria as a complementary
379 and alternative medicinal (CAM) treatment. Reasons for using CAMs in the face of cancer often have been
380 found to be psychological in nature and related to the side effects of the
381 disease and conventional treatment, including fear, anxiety, hopelessness, body
382 image changes, and stress [[FootNote(Johnson, R., Meadows, R., Haubner,
383 J., Sevedge, K. (2003). ''American
384 Behavioral Scientist''. 47(55).)]]. CAMs are also a way by which patients can
385 regain some control of their environment, an environment in which they are
386 subject to hospital schedules, tests, and their disease. A 2003 study
387 investigates the extent to which a trained therapy dog and handler can help a
388 patient maintain a positive outlook and use their social networks. While this
389 study does not directly relate to childhood cancer, it addresses the same
390 issues that children in hospital settings face. A population of 30 people with
391 cancer was exposed to visits from a dog and handler, a friendly human visit, or
392 a quiet reading session to see which had the greatest effect on anxiety
393 [[FootNote(Johnson, R., Meadows, R., Haubner, J., Sevedge, K. (2003). ''American Behavioral Scientist''.
394 47(55).)]]. Dog visits were rated the
395 highest for making a person feel comfortable and safe. Patients reported that
396 the presence of a dog was comforting and made them feel more at ease
397 [[FootNote(Johnson, R., Meadows, R., Haubner, J., Sevedge, K. (2003). ''American Behavioral Scientist''.
398 47(55).)]].
399
400
401
402 A 2004 study by Johanne Gagnon, France Bouchard, Marie
403 Landry, Marthe Belles-Isles, Martine Fortier, and Lise Fillion describes the
404 implementation of a hospital based animal therapy program for children with
405 cancer. The authors note that the physical damage done by cancer can lead to
406 adverse biopsychosocial issues such as anxiety, depression, loss of appetite,
407 and withdrawal [[FootNote(Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M., Belles-Isles,
408 M., Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a hospital-based animal
409 therapy program fro children with cancer: A descriptive study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''.
410 14(4). 217-222.)]]. The study also investigates the extent to which therapy
411 dogs may decrease the distress felt by children with in hospitals. Data was
412 collected from two groups, children on the one hand, parents and nurses on the
413 other. Questionnaires were issued to gather data on the effectiveness of the
414 canine interventions.
415
416
417
418 The study concluded that after the intervention benefits for
419 children included being more independent, eats more, and is more comfortable in
420 the hospital [[FootNote(Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M., Belles-Isles, M.,
421 Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a hospital-based animal therapy
422 program fro children with cancer: A descriptive study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''. 14(4). 217-222.)]]. The parents
423 report that hospitalization is “a happier event, that it is a day of happiness
424 and that it helps with morale” [[FootNote(Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M.,
425 Belles-Isles, M., Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a
426 hospital-based animal therapy program fro children with cancer: A descriptive
427 study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''.
428 14(4). 217-222.)]]. Nurses report feeling more cheerful, motivated, and
429 positive in their facilities [[FootNote(Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M.,
430 Belles-Isles, M., Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a
431 hospital-based animal therapy program fro children with cancer: A descriptive
432 study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''.
433 14(4). 217-222.)]]. The authors believe that implementing therapy dog programs
434 in hospitals is beneficial to the children, parents, and staff, though more
435 research needs to be done to determine the extent to which AAT is effective as
436 well as how far into chemotherapy or other treatments can therapy dogs have an
437 impact [[FootNote(Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M., Belles-Isles, M.,
438 Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a hospital-based animal therapy
439 program fro children with cancer: A descriptive study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''. 14(4). 217-222.)]].
440
441
442
443 The authors of “Canines and Childhood Cancer” note that
444 “children diagnosed with cancer and their families not only cope with physical
445 issues, but are also prone to psychosocial issues including isolation,
446 depression, trauma, stress, and fear” [[FootNote(Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz, A.,
447 !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K., Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane Association.
448 (2012). Canines and childhood cancer: Examining the effects of therapy dogs
449 with childhood cancer patients and their families. 1-34.
450
451 )]]. The article is a literature review aimed at examining
452 and describing the benefits of therapy dog interaction with hospitalized
453 children and their families. Children with cancer report a lower QOL, often
454 feeling isolated, depressed, anxious, and a loss of control over their lives.
455 CAM approaches try to treat these symptoms. The literature review found several
456 benefits of therapy dog interaction reported by patients and parents:
457
458
459
460 1. The
461 dog provided distraction from pain/situation
462
463 2.
464 The dog brought pleasure/happiness
465
466 3.
467 The dog is fun/entertaining
468
469 4.
470 The dog reminds the child of home
471
472 5.
473 The child enjoys snuggling/contact with the dog
474
475 6.
476 The dog provides company
477
478 7.
479 The dog is calming
480
481 8. The
482 dog eases pain (Jenkins 2012)
483
484
485
486 The literature review also outlines research conducted
487 concerning AAT and depression. The findings are similar and cross disciplinary.
488 AAT can help make children in therapy sessions more compliant and willing to
489 open up to the therapist. Similarly, the review found that children in hospital
490 settings were more compliant with their treatment regimens when animals were
491 present [[FootNote(Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz, A., !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K.,
492 Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane Association. (2012). Canines and childhood
493 cancer: Examining the effects of therapy dogs with childhood cancer patients
494 and their families. 1-34.)]].
495
496
497
498 -
== Areas for Future
+
== Areas for Investigation ==
499 -
Investigation ==
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500
501
502
503 Gagnon et al. note that while the efficacy and potential
504 benefits of dog-assisted therapy are demonstrated in their study, the
505 mechanisms by which those benefits are realized are still unknown. They call
506 for further studies to better understand the action process and for more
507 empirical evidence to support the implementation and use of animal assisted
508 therapy in hospital settings (Gagnon 2004).
509
510
511
512 Jenkins et al. note that from here, one challenge is to
513 define and calrify precisely what an effective AAT intervention is. How do we
514 measure this, and what are the metrics? [[FootNote(Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz, A.,
515 !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K., Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane Association.
516 (2012). Canines and childhood cancer: Examining the effects of therapy dogs
517 with childhood cancer patients and their families. 1-34.)]].
518
519
520
521 The 2012 literature review concludes with the hypothesis
522 that “it is also possible that AAT/AAA interventions may create conditions that
523 trigger endocrinological or neurological functions which in trn may affect the
524 course of human disease or human behavior” [[FootNote(Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz,
525 A., !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K., Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane
526 Association. (2012). Canines and childhood cancer: Examining the effects of
527 therapy dogs with childhood cancer patients and their families. 1-34.)]]. The
528 authors suggest further research to explore possible benefits.
529
530
531
532 -
== '''Key Resources ''' ==
+
== Key Resources ==
533
534
535
536
537
538 Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M., Belles-Isles, M.,
539 Fortier, M., Fillion, L. (2004). Implementing a hospital-based animal therapy
540 program fro children with cancer: A descriptive study. ''Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal''. 14(4). 217-222.
541
542
543
544 This study details the implementation of an animal therapy
545 program in a hospital setting for young children. Selection criteria specified
546 children over the age of two with a diagnosis of cancer and the ability to
547 speak, write, and converse in French to give consent. The study investigated
548 the ability of animal therapy to ease the distress of children undergoing
549 treatment in a hospital setting. Data was obtained using surveys and
550 questionnaires of both nursing staff and parents. The study found the “simple
551 fact of being in the company of a dog encourage the child” to leave their
552 rooms, participate in activities, and socialize with others.
553
554
555
556 Jenkins, M., Ruchrdanz, A., !McCullogh, A., Casillas, K.,
557 Fluke, J. D., USA, American Humane Association. (2012). Canines and childhood
558 cancer: Examining the effects of therapy dogs with childhood cancer patients
559 and their families. 1-34.
560
561
562
563 This literature review shows evidence for implementing AAT
564 for children with cancer in hospital settings. The report describes studies
565 generally and reports the impact AAT with canines had on children, parents, and
566 hospital staff. The review also covers other territory, such as the effect of
567 AAT/AAA on depression, and how to implement animal therapy into a hospital
568 setting.
569
570
571
572 Johnson, R., Meadows, R., Haubner, J., Sevedge, K. (2003). ''American Behavioral Scientist''. 47(55).
573
574
575
576 This article classifies AAT as complimentary and alternative
577 medicine (CAM) in the realm of cancer treatment. CAM aims to treat either the
578 disease itself or to mitigate side effects.
579 CAM treatments are also a way by which patients can regain some control
580 of their environment, an environment in which they are subject to hospital
581 schedules, tests, and their disease. People can become depressed, anxious, or
582 less compliant with treatment. Treating these psychosocial conditions can help
583 to improve overall health, aiding recovery, improving mood, and morale.
584
585 [[br]]
586
587 [[FootNote()]]
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