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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Emotional Distress and Subjectively Significant Difficulties in Adolescents with Oncological and Oncohematological Diseases Undergoing Chemotherapy and their Mothers 43


Riabova T.V.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Klipinina N.V.
Junior research clinical psychology Department, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Nikol'skaya N.S.
PhD in Psychology, Senior research fellow, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Shutkova E.S
Junior research fellow, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Stefanenko E.A.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Khain A.E.
PhD in Psychology, Head of Clinical Psychology Department, Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia

The work aims to study emotional distress, the need for information about the disease and treatment, and the need for psychological assistance in adolescents undergoing inpatient treatment for oncological and oncohematological diseases. The paper presents research materials on a sample of patients aged 12—18 (N=28, 12 boys, 16 girls) and their mothers. We used distress scales for children (a version suitable for respondents aged 7—17) and parents with a modified Problem List, and questionnaires for doctors in the chemotherapy department. The results obtained indicate the severity of emotional distress, subjectively significant difficulties, the need for medical information and psychological assistance in patients and parents. Clinically significant distress was detected in 62.8% of adolescents and 64.4% of mothers. No association was found between reports of needs for information, psychological assistance, and overall distress scores in either adolescents or their mothers. Thus, it has been shown that when assessing the adolescent’s need for information and psychological assistance, it is advisable to focus not on the general dis tress score, but on the representation of difficulties associated with treatment, as well as on the adolescent’s own opinion about the presence of these needs. The inclusion in the Problem List of the distress scales of those subjectively significant difficulties that reflect the developmental characteristics of the patients and the specifics of the type of treatment, as well as the introduction of direct questions about the needs for information and psychological assistance, expands the possibilities of identifying adolescents in need of psychological support undergoing inpatient chemotherapy and facilitates their collaboration with the clinic’s multidisciplinary team of specialists.

Keywords: emotional distress, subjectively significant difficulties in the treatment process, pediatric oncology/oncohematology, adolescents, information needs, need for psychological assistance, distress scales.

Column: Special Topic: Stress, Coping Strategies and Emotional Self-Regulation


For Reference


The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project number 19-013-00682.

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