Parent-Directed Intervention for Children With Cancer-Related Neurobehavioral Late Effects: A Randomized Pilot Study


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Abstract

Objective To evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an intervention directed at parents of childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) with neurobehavioral late effects to improve targeted parenting skills, and thus to indirectly benefit the child’s educational functioning. Methods 44 CCSs and their parents were randomized. Intervention-arm parents participated in eight individual training sessions augmented by a 3-month telephone support period. Pre- and postparent measures and child performance on Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II and School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory assessed intervention effects. Results 90% of intervention parents completed the program with high adherence/perceived benefit. Between-group effect sizes ranged from d = 0.77 to d = 1.45 for parent knowledge, efficacy, frequency of pro-learning behaviors, and d = 0.21 to d = 0.76 for child academic scores. Parental time spent in intervention activities was associated with academic change. Conclusions A parent-directed intervention to indirectly promote academic functioning in CCSs appears feasible and effective in improving targeted parenting outcomes and for selected child academic outcomes.

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