Children's memories about events relating to treatment for eye cancer : influence of age at loss of eye

Norgate, SH ORCID: and Littleton, K 2012, 'Children's memories about events relating to treatment for eye cancer : influence of age at loss of eye' , Infant Mental Health Journal, 32 (5) , pp. 563-577.

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Treatment for Retinoblastoma frequently involves removal of at least one eye in the first five years. Variation in age of treatment leads to the assumption that children’s later verbal accessibility of early traumatic memories may vary, with some children having less opportunity to make sense of their condition. Video-recordings were made of 17 children who had either undergone enucleation before 24 months (n=8) or after 24 months (n=9) involved in ‘hospital play’ using props designed to elicit talk about ‘eyes’. The hypothesis that a larger number of verbalizations about medical procedures would occur in children enucleated after 24 months than before 24 months was supported. Children enucleated after 24 months engaged in significantly more talk about enucleation and/or examination under anaesthetic whereas none of the children enucleated in infancy talked about these medical events. The outcome supports the view that there is a transition around 24 months in the extent to which children can have verbal access to previous traumatic memories. The design of interventions needs to take into account that children enucleated in infancy have less opportunity for later verbal access to early memories of traumatic events than those treated later, leading to possible misconceptions about their own condition.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Infant Mental Health Journal
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0163-9641
Related URLs:
Funders: Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, The Open University (UK)
Depositing User: SH Norgate
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2011 09:00
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 11:38
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