Digital storytelling: An innovative legacy-making intervention for children with cancer

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Background.This study examined the feasibility of a legacy-making intervention in children with cancer and the preliminary effects on outcomes related to quality of life.Procedure.Children (N = 28) ages 7–17 years completed a baseline QOL questionnaire (PedsQL) at T1. After baseline, the intervention group (n = 15) completed a randomized intervention that guided children to answer questions about legacy-making and create a digital story about themselves. A final copy of the digital story was provided to the families. A control group (n = 13) received customary care. Children repeated the questionnaire at T2. Parents (N = 22) of children who completed the intervention completed follow-up survey questions regarding intervention effects.Results.Feasibility was strong (78% participation; 1 attrition). While differences between the groups in physical, emotional, social, or school functioning change was not statistically significant, the intervention group showed slightly better emotional and school functioning compared to controls. Parents reported that their child's digital story provided emotional comfort to them (n = 11, 46%), facilitated communication between parents and children (n = 9, 38%), and was a coping strategy for them (n = 4, 17%). Parents reported that the intervention helped children express their feelings (n = 19, 79%), cope (n = 6, 27%), and feel better emotionally (n = 5, 23%).Conclusions.Our intervention is feasible for children with cancer, is developmentally appropriate for children 7–17 years of age, and demonstrates promise to improve quality of life outcomes for children with cancer and their parents. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:658–665. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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