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Researchers find better method to help mothers cope with child's cancer and related stress
Date:10/21/2010

BOSTON - Mothers who have children diagnosed with cancer now have a better approach to address and cope with stresses associated with their child's disease.

A new certified intervention has proven to be more effective long term compared to other psychological methods, as reported today at the 42nd Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology.

In a joint oral presentation, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital and Jonathan Jaques Children's Cancer Center of Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach reported that mothers of newly diagnosed patients were able to decrease their stress level sooner and sustain that level longer with an intervention known as Problem-Solving Skills Training (PSST).

The multi-institutional randomized trial, conducted through the Psychosocial Adaptation to Childhood Cancer Research Consortium, also showed that Spanish-speaking mothers had the most significant response to the training compared to English-speaking and Arabic-speaking mothers.

Three months after their child's initial diagnosis, the stress levels of mothers receiving PSST had decreased twice as much as mothers who had no intervention. In the consortium's 2009 study, researchers also evaluated PSST in comparison to reflective listening, a form of one-on-one counseling. Although both therapies decreased the stress level significantly, mothers counseled only with reflective listening eventually returned to higher stress levels after three months, unlike those who had Problem-Solving Skills Training.

In addition, the study evaluated the efficacy and feasibility of using a personal digital assistant (PDA) to supplement the training. Although there was no significant benefit reported from using an electronic device in coordination with PSST, participants rated the PDA-based program favorably, which could lead to more technology-based interventions in the future, said the co-pre
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Contact: Sara Farris
sfarris@mdanderson.org
713-792-9133
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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