School Attendance Among Pediatric Oncology Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ontario, Canada.

Publication date: Jan 25, 2024

Supporting schooling for current and past pediatric oncology patients is vital to their quality of life and psychosocial recovery. However, no study has examined the perspectives toward in-person schooling among pediatric oncology families during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this online survey study, we determined the rate of and attitudes toward in-person school attendance among current and past pediatric oncology patients living in Ontario, Canada during the 2020-2021 school year. Of our 31-family cohort, 23 children (74%) did attend and 8 (26%) did not attend any in-person school during this time. Fewer children within 2 years of treatment completion attended in-person school (5/8; 62%) than those more than 2 years from treatment completion (13/15; 87%). Notably, 22 of 29 parents (76%) felt that speaking to their care team had the greatest impact compared to other potential information sources when deciding about school participation, yet 13 (45%) were unaware of their physician’s specific recommendation regarding whether their child should attend. This study highlights the range in parental comfort regarding permitting in-person schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pediatric oncologists should continue to address parental concerns around in-person school during times of high transmission of COVID-19 and potentially other communicable diseases in the future.

Concepts Keywords
Canada Attend
Pandemic Attendance
Parents Canada
Therapy Completion


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease VO Canada
disease IDO quality
disease VO time
disease MESH communicable diseases

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