ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

The role of social workers in Pediatric Oncology



Introduction. In the past years, the role of social workers in the oncological disease treatment processes has significantly increased. The role implies supporting patient’s psycho-social conditions.

The objective of the study was to study the psycho-social challenges of oncological children and their families and to define a role of social work in this area.

Material and methods. As part of a qualitative study, five interviews were conducted with pediatric oncologists, also 15 in-depth interviews with family members of oncological patients and a focus group with 8 members. For the quantitative study, 62 beneficiaries and 12 medical specialists were interviewed.

Results. The children with oncology conditions and their families faced psycho-social challenges and were in need of social workers’ support in overcoming those challenges. The study demonstrated a low level of public awareness. There is a lack of information among both doctors and beneficiaries. Both psychologists and social workers are involved in re-socialization of oncological children and they care for the improvement of children’s quality of life and support their families. However, there are only a few of such organizations. Therefore, many people who need their support have no chance to take such services.

Conclusions. Implementing the social work in the pediatric oncology will be a major step toward the medical quality standards.

Keywords: pediatric oncology, childhood cancer, social worker.

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Corresponding author:
Public Health and Insurance Institute, School of Business, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia


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Verulava T, Asatiani T, Dangadze B, Jorbenadze R. The role of social workers in pediatric oncology. Arch Balk Med Union 2019;54(2):315-319.