As more children with cancer survive, the importance of facilitating school reintegration as a part of maximizing the quality of life has become evident. Workshops have been presented to school personnel to acquaint them with the issues facing cancer patients and their families, but there are gaps in our knowledge of what school personnel really need or want to know. In this study, 18 teachers of children with cancer and 15 teachers with no prior contact with students with cancer completed a questionnaire designed to assess needs, beliefs, and priorities with regard to working with cancer patients in the classroom. Significant findings included: (a) a consensus that a certain core of information about medical/psychological issues would be useful, and presentation of such information by psychologists and medical personnel working with such families would be optimal; (b) teachers having cancer patients as students were less likely to see the adaptation of siblings as an important issue; (c) teachers associated working with a student with cancer with less stress and demands on their time than predictable from previous studies; and (d) cancer patients as a whole were rated as having fewer behavioral, emotional, and learning problems than randomly selected students without a major illness, suggesting a "halo effect" or contradiction of some literature. Preliminary findings are detailed and implications are discussed for those attempting to help teachers facilitate students' adjustment to school following diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
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