Beating cancer is about more than delivering the right treatment in hospital. We are studying the wellbeing of children and their families affected by illness, with the aim of improving behaviour to give them the best possible chance of recovery.
Researchers in the Behavioural Sciences Unit have developed ways of helping young people who might be depressed at the end of their cancer treatment, parents suffering from insomnia during their children’s treatment, and grandparents grieving at the loss of a child. We then test these interventions in clinical trials before implementing them more widely in NSW and nationally.
We are leaders in this relatively new field of psycho-oncology for children, and are finding that addressing psychological risk factors is an important way of ensuring adherence to treatment and preventing the development of secondary disease.