Coping interventions for parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer: an evidence review with implications for clinical practice and future research

Pediatr Nurs. Nov-Dec 2010;36(6):306-13.


There are approximately 12,000 children diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. The diagnosis of childhood cancer has an impact on the entire family. Parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer often exhibit symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. In addition, children diagnosed with cancer often exhibit behavioral changes during and after treatment. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the adverse impact of the cancer diagnosis on the parents and children, few studies have been conducted on interventions designed to facilitate parental coping and mental health outcomes. The purpose of this evidence review was to determine the impact of psychosocial interventions on the mental health/coping outcomes of parents of children diagnosed with cancer. A synthesis of the current literature from the search demonstrates an urgent need for larger, theory-based, randomized controlled trials with attention control groups for parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer to improve their children's coping/mental health outcomes as well as their own.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*