The International Conference "Pediatric Oncology: Modern Requirements and Challenges," taking place on July 3 with the participation of the Zaporuka Foundation psychologists and physiotherapists, was the first in Ukraine to bring together specialists from various fields from 5 countries (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine, and the United States) to discuss the topics of treatment, rehabilitation, and support of cancer patients and their families.
Oncologists, hematologists, neurologists, pediatricians, family physicians, ultrasound specialists, rehabilitation specialists, and psychologists got together and understood the importance of such a partnership. The master class by the psychologist Alla Antonova "How to help parents live through the loss" was especially helpful. The experts learned how to ethically inform a child’s family about unpromising news, how to prepare and end this type of conversation and what to do after it.
In the Western countries, there is a protocol, according to which a doctor in the presence of a psychologist informs family members of the bad news. However, execution of this protocol is not obligatory, rather, it is a voluntary initiative that many doctors can learn about, evaluate and include in their practices. It can be achieved thanks to such meetings.
Alla Antonova, psychologist, oncopsychologist of the National Cancer Institute and Zaporuka Charitable Foundation:
"It was only by talking to my colleagues and me that the doctors felt how exactly our partnership could work. That is, they not only heard the answers they were seeking but also got their first experience of professional communication with specialists of our profile. I hope that they could feel its therapeutic effect too. I am sure that after our meeting there will be those who will start to change something in their practice of communication with patients and their relatives. And it means a lot".