New Program Helps Parents During Treatment for Cancer
Parent Guidance for Cancer Patients at Stanford
Parenting at a Challenging Time
Many adults being treated for cancer have children and teens living in the home. Understandably, these patients worry about how their cancer and treatment will affect their children. The anxiety they feel may impact both their quality of life and the decisions they make about treatment
In 2018, the Stanford Survivorship Program launched a program designed to facilitate communication and provide support and guidance to patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) offers a consultation with an expert in child development to any patient and family member who feels they could use extra support or guidance.
How PACT Works
The premise of PACT is that parents are the experts when it comes to their children and PACT clinicians are experts in child development. Patients can self-refer or may be referred by their nurse, doctor or social worker at the Cancer Center. Consults are delivered by Dr. Richard Shaw, a child psychiatrist and Dr. Emily Ach, a child psychologist. Drs. Shaw and Ach work with parents to prepare them to talk with their children and to answer their questions with confidence.
PACT encourages and helps to facilitate open communication between the parents and children in a developmentally appropriate manner. The goal following one or more sessions is for parents to feel they have a plan to support their children’s ability to cope, promote resilience, and recognize the signs that more help is needed.