Promoting School Re-Entry and Enhancing Academic Engagement in Survivors of Paediatric Brain Cancer

Project dates: 01/09/2021 - 01/09/2022

Background

Australian children with a chronic illness such as cancer have a 34% chance of falling behind academically. Brain tumours are the second most common paediatric cancer and despite growing international recognition of poorer late-term cognitive outcomes in survivors, school life related issues are overwhelmingly under researched. New evidence suggests survivors of both high- and low-grade tumour types are equally impacted academically.

The project

This project will constitute the first Australian study to identify concerns that parents of children recently diagnosed with a brain tumour may have about their child’s school life, examine the mental wellbeing of survivors and their attitudes towards school, teachers, learning, and other students, and sense of belongingness. Connections with different treatment regimens will also be established. Results will assist health professionals and educators in removing barriers to school re-entry for young brain cancer survivors. This will be critical in promoting healthy academic engagement and school completion in survivors.

Funding

Perpetual’s 2021 IMPACT Philanthropy Application Program

Investigators

  • Dr Verena Pritchard (Faculty of Health, School – Psychology and Counselling)
  • Professor Greig de Zubicaray (Faculty of Health, School – Psychology and Counselling)
  • Professor Katie McMahon (Faculty of Health, School – Clinical Sciences)
  • Associate Professor Natalie Bradford (Faculty of Health, School – Nursing)
  • Dr Stuart Ekberg (Faculty of Health, School – Psychology and Counselling)
  • Associate Professor Sonia White (Faculty of CI, Education and Social Justice, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education)