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Old 16-06-2012, 10:06 PM
Dom's mum Dom's mum is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 122
Default Emotional support

Hi Dr S,
In your experience as a surgeon have you ever seen psychological support given to children/families (other than this forum)? Children are going through life changing surgery and in many cases there are also possible genetic causes to investigate. Quite a lot to take on board and work through.
The care we received from our surgeons was wonderful and I am aware that counselling can be accessed through GPs and Medicare but I think there would be some benefit in suggesting it and/or providing a social worker when attending clinics. Perhaps if it is just part of the routine appointments the children would feel more comfortable with seeking this support.
Would appreciate your thoughts and experience.
Old 21-06-2012, 12:32 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: Emotional support

Thank you for raising this matter again.

May I refer you to my response of 13 January 2011, which appears at the end of this thread, and is also displayed below, which contains some practical suggestions about how a support group can be started. You should raise the matter with Dom's surgeon. As is mentioned in the cited post, experience shows that a support group has to be hospital-centred.

Please keep the forum informed of your efforts.

Dr Scoliosis

Concerning support groups for adolescents with scoliosis

Patricia, thank you for your post and, indeed, you raise a very important aspect of the care of children with spinal curvature.

First, may I say that we view this forum as a form of "support group" and we trust that this is helpful to those who participate. However, one can appreciate the importance of face-to-face contact for adolescents and their parents when a family member is facing a major treatment program.

It is to be acknowledged that scoliosis and kyphosis treatment is largely centred at teaching hospitals and particularly children’s hospitals. Many years ago the Dr Scoliosis on duty started a support group which proved to be successful. Surgeons are very busy people and have little time for professional activities outside their working hours. For example, a support group can meet only out of hours, so to speak – that is, in the evening.

The approach which was used was to enlist the assistance of the Social Work department at a large teaching hospital. Social Work students, who are usually female, as part of their education undertake what is called a "placement". This is usually in some form of health-related activity for several months. A student was contacted through the hospital and the related university. The project took off very well indeed and it soon became clear that the most important ingredient was enthusiastic mothers and so the group became self-sustaining. Obviously there are variations on what has just been detailed.

To take matters further a parent should make an appointment with the surgeon looking after their daughter/son to see if there is a possibility of taking action along the lines suggested.

Good luck.

Dr Scoliosis

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