Poster Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

Psychological support for parents, teens and adolescents during the treatment when a child or teen dies at the Oncological department (#455)

Tamara Klikovac 1
  1. National Institut for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Paediatric Oncology Ward, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade

There are five specialized children's hospitals in Serbia (three in Belgrade, in the cities of Novi Sad and Nis). Children with malignant diseases are treated in five departments of pediatric oncology. The largest division is the one at IORS (18 beds) treating children and teenagers with brain tumors, bone tumors, soft tissue tumors of various localization.
Children with leukemia and limfoma are treated at the other departments.

There are no specialized department, hospice or home care teams for palliative care of children

After losing a child, I work, occasionally, with the parents depending on its individual needs.

Psychological intervention conducted at a oncological department dealing with interventions that are associated with the processing of loss are:
1.Psychological workshops - psychological work group when a child or teen dies at the Department, which is a huge stress for other parents and other children at the department (especially teenagers and adolescents) and of course, for the staff. Psychology workshops with the theme of loss, are aimed at healing and ventilation of heavy feeling, interpretation of various facilities, the opening ritual of forgiveness from the deceased friend (which is better than not speaking or misleading – frequent practice of parents and medical staff in our society).


How to help dying patients (adults and children)to relieve  suffering?How to care for the WHOLE patient not just for disease or isolated symptoms?How to help dying patients to  normalize situation, establish control, identity, relationships, sense of meaning, peace and       purpose in their life?How to provide bereavement support for families after lost?And most important question is how to find and implement a good enough model for the Psycho-oncology and Palliative care,taking into account the situation and obstacles in Serbian health care system today?