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Resilience program improves psychosocial health among children with cancer

31 October 2017

A new pilot program found that brief intervention can improve the psychosocial health of children living with cancer.

Psychosocial stress from cancer is common and is often a major factor that affects the child’s quality of life. Although many paediatric palliative care programmes provide some form of support for the child and their family, very few provide standardized tools to manage this stress.

In response to this a clinical trial with 100 English-speaking patients between the ages of 12 and 25 years who were diagnosed with new or newly recurrent cancer were randomly assigned to receive psychosocial care called Promoting Resilience in Stress Management or PRISM.

Abby R. Rosenberg, MD, Director of Palliative Care and Resilience Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute and lead study author said, “The experience of cancer is stressful in all realms, but we tend to focus more on physical symptoms than the equally important social and emotional challenges. This is particularly true for adolescents and young adults who already struggle with normal developmental changes. When you throw cancer into the mix, it can become much harder."

PRISM was delivered in thirty minute to hour long sessions with a trained research associate, followed by a family meeting. The intervention provided internal resilience resources that strengthened stress management and goal setting. It resulted in  improved resilience, improved hope and quality of life as well as lowering stress in the majority of the children.  

The findings of the pilot program will be presented at the upcoming 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium in San Diego, California. Click here, to read the full article. 

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