Defining Essential Psychosocial Care

Creating Standards for Psychosocial Care for Children with Cancer and their Families


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Pediatric oncology psychosocial professionals collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of over 80 experts and stakeholders, from the US, Canada and the Netherlands, to develop evidence-based standards for the psychosocial care of children with cancer and their families.


Over 13,000 peer-reviewed articles were included in the initial searches and reviews.  From which 1,217 were appraised for their rigor and served as the basis for the development of the standards of care.  Each standard used the AGREE II process to evaluate the quality of the evidence.  Additionally, the standards were assessed using the GRADE methodology to determine quality of evidence and strength of recommendations.


The project resulted in the largest and most comprehensive compilation of psychosocial standards to date, and were published in December 2015 in a dedicated supplement of Pediatric Blood & Cancer.  These historic evidence-based standards define what children with cancer and their families must receive to effectively support their psychosocial needs from the time of diagnosis, through survivorship, or end of life and bereavement care


Are you curious about how the Standards were developed?  If so, then view the following slide deck on the background and methodologies followed in the creation of the evidence-based Standards for Psychosocial Care. 


The establishment of essential standards of care is a multi-phase, multi-year undertaking.  There are three core phases to the initiative:

PHASE 1 - Define, Create & Publish Standards

PHASE 2 - Endorsements of Standards

PHASE 3 - Implementation & Evaluation


Building on the development and publication of the Standards of Care, a team of researchers developed an implementation toolkit consisting of a Matrix and set of Guidelines to support clinicians when implementing the Standards of Care. The Matrix and Guidelines were published as a Special Report in Pediatric Blood & Cancer in September of 2020.

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Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation

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Arlington, VA. 22206-0485

A 501(c)3 Public Charity

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