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We surveyed antimicrobials used in Greek pediatric hematology–oncology (PHO) and bone marrow transplant (BMT) units before and after an intervention involving education regarding the 2017 clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for the management of febrile neutropenia in children with cancer and hematopoietic stem-cell transplant recipients.
Antibiotic prescribing practices were prospectively recorded between June 2016 and November 2017.
In December 2017, baseline data feedback was provided, and CPG education was provided. Prescribing practices were followed for one more year. For antibiotic stewardship, days of therapy, and length of therapy were calculated.
Five of the 6 PHO units in Greece and the single pediatric BMT unit participated.
Admitted children in each unit who received the first 15 new antibiotic courses each month.
Administration of ≥4 antibiotics simultaneously and administration of antibiotics with overlapping activity for ≥2 days were significantly more common in PHO units in general hospitals compared to children’s hospitals. Use of at least 1 antifungal was recorded in ∼47% of the patients before and after the intervention. De-escalation and/or discontinuation of antibiotics on day 6 of initial treatment increased significantly from 43% to 53.5% (P = .032). Although the number of patients requiring intensive care support for sepsis did not change, a significant drop was noted in all-cause mortality (P = .008).
We recorded the antibiotic prescribing practices in Greek PHO and BMT units, we achieved improved prescribing with a simple intervention, and we identified areas in need of improvement.
Psychosocial interventions in families of children with cancer are considered an effective way of empowering family members to tackle the complex hurdles they face. The ability of parents to develop adaptive coping strategies during the child's treatment is not only important to their own mental and physical health, but also to their child's well-being and long-term adjustment with the disease.
The aim of this review was to evaluate the existing literature for the period from 2009 to 2017 on psychosocial interventions targeting families of children with cancer. We searched the PubMed database using the following combination of keywords: “cancer AND children AND (intervention OR training) AND (mothers OR primary caregivers OR parents OR fathers OR siblings).”
After careful evaluation of 995 papers, 17 full-text papers were found to match our criteria (12 randomized controlled trials and 5 quasi-experimental studies). The quality of the studies was assessed using the Delphi score questionnaire, and the score of the reviewed studies ranged from 3 to 5. The findings suggest that most interventions reduced distress and improved coping strategies among participants. Interventions, mainly cognitive behavioral therapy and problem-solving skills training targeting maternal distress, were associated with improved adjustment outcomes in mothers of children with cancer.
Significance of results
Psychosocial interventions are helpful, and efforts should be made to promote them in a larger scale. Protocols should be implemented to ensure that all parents benefit. Computer-assisted methods may provide additional benefit by improving cancer-related knowledge and cancer-related communication.
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