IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN & TEENAGERS, WITH DISEASES OF THE COLON AND AS WELL ASTHEIR FAMILIES
Some of the diseases of the colon (anorectal diseases, Hirschsprung’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.), affect not only the life of the patient but also their family, in many ways – physically, socially, emotionally, and financially.
In order to deal with these diseases, the cooperation of an interdisciplinary team is considered necessary so that the family and the child will be able to cope with the demands of a chronic condition.
Therefore, in addition to the diagnostic approach, the therapeutic intervention (conservative-endoscopic-surgical) and the ultimate postoperative care in patients with these diseases, the need for psychological support, where necessary, is emphasized.
Psychological support focuses on patients and their families from the earliest stages of the diagnosis.
Psychological support ofin the family
Specifically, support sessions are provided:
- during pregnancy with the aim of constant information and counseling, as with further information it allows women to help prepare and manage the psychological impact of a suspected congenital disease (anorectal abnormality, Hirschsprung’s disease, etc.), also whilst this is beingestablished during prenatal screening tests.
Emotional support is essential for women to express their feelings about their desires and expectations for the specific situation.
- After delivery, when a congenital disease of the colon is diagnosed, psychological support is necessary since during this period the woman experiences physical and emotional challenges in this period.
However, both parents, in addition to their own changes, are called upon to take on new roles and responsibilities related to the therapeutic rehabilitation (pharmaceutical, endoscopic, surgical) of their child.
The purpose of counseling / psychological support is to:
- assess the psycho-emotional health of a woman / newborn / family
- deal with emotional difficulties (anxiety or sadness)
- through psychoeducation to create conditions for adaptation to the needs of the disease
Psychological support to children & adolescents with diseases of the colon
A significant number of patients with certain diseases experience for the rest of their lives some problems related to bowel function (varying degrees of constipation or fecal incontinence) or urinary function (urinary disorders).
At the same time, they must accept some differences regarding their external appearance but also issues related to their personal, emotional and social development.
The purpose of counseling / psychological support is:
- To help the child and adolescent, who has problems arising from these diseases, and theirfamily, to adapt to the changes caused by this specific medical condition
- to help combat symptoms such as pain and discomfort
- deal with emotional difficulties that may include anxiety or sadness.
Specifically, counseling is provided to children / adolescents & families by contributing to:
- Psychoeducation and adaptation to the needs of the disease
- Learning and reinforcing behaviors that lead to improved functionality at both personal and social level
- Enhancing self-image and self-esteem
- Learning relaxation techniques for pain situations and anxiety disorders related to the patient’s condition.
The importance of long-term interdisciplinary follow-up, including those for psychological support, is considered necessary for the child to cope with the demands of such situations.