Feasibility and preliminary outcomes from a pilot study of a brief psychological intervention for families of children newly diagnosed with cancer

J Pediatr Psychol. 2005 Dec;30(8):644-55. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsi051. Epub 2005 Mar 3.


Objective: To report initial feasibility and outcome from a pilot study of a new three-session intervention for caregivers of children newly diagnosed with cancer, Surviving Cancer Competently Intervention Program-Newly Diagnosed (SCCIP-ND).

Method: Nineteen families (38 caregivers) were randomly assigned to SCCIP-ND or treatment as usual subsequent to learning of their child's illness. The study design included pre- and 2-month postintervention assessments, with state anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptoms as outcomes. Feasibility was based on therapist feedback and supervision, program evaluations, and data from study-tracking procedures.

Results: SCCIP-ND appears to be an acceptable intervention that can be used successfully with caregivers over the first few months after diagnosis. Recruitment and retention data document feasibility but also highlight challenges. Preliminary outcome data show changes in the desired direction [e.g., reduced anxiety and parental posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS)].

Conclusions: The pilot data are supportive of the value and challenges of developing evidence-based family interventions in pediatric psychology.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family / psychology
  • Family Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Brief*
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Traumatic / therapy