Pediatric cancer survivors have historically struggled to receive adequate educational supports. In Spring 2020, the COVID‐19 pandemic forced an emergency switch from traditional in-person education models to distance education, but little information is available regarding experiences of pediatric survivors’ coping with schooling since that time.
This article presents exploratory mixed methods findings from a quality improvement project including qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey conducted with parents of pediatric oncology survivors identified through neuropsychological assessment, and the use of school-based services as having educationally relevant neurocognitive impacts of disease or treatment. The interviews explored experiences of education and instructional delivery during the COVID‐19 school closures in spring of 2020 and the beginning of the 2020–2021 school year and served as the foundation for a quantitative survey to determine the generalizability of findings.
Qualitative interviews highlighted 3 emergent themes regarding the shared experiences of distance schooling for children with cancer during the COVID‐19 school closures: (a) attention, (b) mental health, and (c) access to instruction. A follow-up quantitative survey supported the qualitative findings and their generalizability to the schooling experiences of other children with cancer during the pandemic.
This article describes and explores each theme and offers suggestions for pediatric supports and changes to provider service delivery (including weblinks to access project-developed resources) as a result of ongoing pandemic-related schooling needs.