Rethinking Experiences of Childhood Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Chronic Childhood Illness
Mary Dixon-Woods, Bridget Young and David Heney
Published by Open University Press
£19.99; ISBN: 033521255
STAR RATING: 3/5
This book is aimed at professionals working within the field of childhood cancer, and is written by a sociologist, a psychologist and a practising paediatric oncologist, writes Julie Charlesworth. It intends to show how the study of childhood cancer can benefit from a multidisciplinary approach that recognises contributions from a range of social sciences, within the context of the clinical issues. The authors suggest there is a need for a more up-to-date social science perspective on childhood cancer not only for researchers, but also to inform policy and practice in relation to the care of children with cancer and their families.
The book offers a wide-ranging critique of existing psychosocial theory and more recent research on childhood, and children’s experiences of cancer. There is a very useful review of research that looks at how parents, and other family members are affected by childhood illness. Topics covered include approaches to childhood and cancer, obtaining a diagnosis, communication issues, shared decision-making, and late effects.
While it makes proposals for further research, it is disappointing that it doesn’t cover in any real depth issues relating to policy and practice.
However, the book does usefully demonstrate the need to examine alternative perspectives, and is an interesting and thought-provoking read for those working with children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Julie Charlesworth is a social worker with CLIC Sargeant, a children’s cancer charity