The diagnosis of cancer can bring complex challenges to patients, their families, and other caregivers. They can experience a range of emotions including distress and suffering that need prompt and continuous support.
The psychosocial oncology program at KHCC is available to offer counseling support and interventions to relieve suffering, improve quality of life and help patients and their families cope at all stages of illness.
Our program is led by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, psychosocial counselors, social workers, child life specialists, community service specialists, child development specialists, teachers, members of support groups, and volunteers.
- Psychosocial Screening Clinic
- Psychology Service
- Social Work Service
- Social Work Support Services
- Pediatric Mental Health & Child Life Rehabilitation Services
- Child Life Service & Play Therapy
- Child Growth & Development Clinic
- Make a Wish Program
- Back to School Program
- Support Groups
Psychosocial Screening Clinic
All new patients are referred to the Psychosocial Screening Clinic upon their first visit to KHCC. All patients undergo a comprehensive psychosocial assessment according to international accreditation standards and are also assessed for distress (using the distress thermometer according to NCCN guidelines). Subsequently, patients are referred to the appropriate service based on the level and source of distress, which can include physical distress (referral to the physician), social distress (referred to social support services), or emotional distress (referred to psychology services). Children may also be referred to school or child life specialists as needed.
Psychologists provide interventions that promote the mental health and welling of patients and families. Psychology consults can be started early from diagnosis or during any stage of the treatment. Our psychology team can help patients with adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression and mood disorders, eating disorders, fear, grief, pain and symptom control, and any other stressors. The psychologist will conduct a comprehensive assessment in the first session and can decide on subsequent follow-up sessions as needed. In some cases, a referral to our psychiatrist is warranted depending on the diagnosis and need for pharmacological therapy.
KHCC’s Psychology Service currently includes 3 psychologists (2 Ph.D. holders and one with a Master’s degree), and one psychosocial counselor. The service operates both adult and pediatric inpatient consultation services, in addition to ambulatory outpatient clinics.
Social Work Service
Our social workers help patients and families cope with the stress of living with illness. They can help patients and their families better deal with the impacts of illness on patient social matters, daily routines, finances, and community re-integration following treatment. Social workers can provide patient and family counseling, assist when patients are discharged from the hospital, provide counseling on the impact of illness on family relationships, help children and adult patients return home after hospitalization, deal with legal matters (e.g. court-related issues, guardianship, power of attorney, etc.), refer patients to community services as needed, and support with grief and bereavement for families of terminal patients.
Our inpatient social workers evaluate every patient within 24 hours of admission, measure distress and refer other support services as needed. We currently have 6 social workers.
Social Work Support Services
Our social workers, in collaboration with the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF), assist patients and families in obtaining certain services that the patient would not otherwise be able to afford based on financial and social constraints. These services include: treatment coverage through KHCF’s Goodwill Fund, accommodation, transportation, food coupons, medical equipment, prostheses, and medical consumables, to name a few. The social work office operates during working hours and are on call during the weekends when needed.
Pediatric Mental Health & Child Life Rehabilitation Services
- Child Life Services & Play Therapy
- Growth & Development Clinic
- Make a Wish Program
- Back to School Program
Child Life Service & Play Therapy
Child life specialists help patients and families to cope with the stress and anxiety that results from diagnosis or treatment of cancer through play, educational sessions, music, art, reading, peer socialization, outdoor activities, summer camp, sibling and teen support in addition to procedural preparation to reduce stress and anxiety during treatment. Our child life specialists can also help patients and families adjust and cope during hospitalization. The service can be provided in all clinical areas: in the play rooms in the inpatient and outpatient areas or inside the patient room, depending on the clinical condition or during infectious seasons like the flu or the COVID-19 pandemic. We have always had many child life volunteering opportunities prior to the pandemic. In addition, our team helps in planning and hosting special hospital events, such as celebrating the completion of therapy, official holidays, or birthday parties. KHCC currently has 3 child life specialists.
Child Growth & Development Clinic
The clinic is operated by our pediatric psychology team, where children are assessed using standardized tools based on their appropriate developmental age and refer as needed to support their development before, during and after treatment
Make a Wish Program
This program is operated by the pediatric psychology and child life teams in collaboration with KHCF to fulfill the wishes of pediatric patients to help them cope during various stages of illness and treatment.
Back to School Program
Our back to school program is accredited under the Ministry of Education and allows children to continue their education and avoid loss of educational progress during their treatment. Our teachers are available to assist children with their academic progress, and liaise with the community schools for classes as well as assessments and exams. Most of our educational sessions are offered one-on-one and are personalized to meet the patient’s developmental level as well as his or her clinical situation. The Back to School program helps patient to reintegrate back into their schools after completion of therapy. Currently, KHCF’s Back to School program also assists high school graduates in obtaining scholarships to pursue college and university education.
Having cancer is often one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. Support groups can help patients cope with the stress and emotional aspects of cancer by providing a non-medical environment to share experiences with other patients who are either survivors or still on treatment and also work through feelings and challenges.
KHCF leads collaborative peer and professional lead support groups like the SANAD group for breast cancer survivors and also the BASMA support group.