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Enhancing Coping and Communication in Children with Cancer and Their Parents: A Novel Internet-Based Intervention

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Bruce Compas, PhD
Grant Type: 
Psychosocial Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Project Description: 


Childhood cancer patients and their parents are faced with significant stress at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and over the course of recovery. The stress of cancer and its treatment can lead to significant emotional distress for many families. However, most families do not have access to programs that offer support for coping with cancer-related stress. 

Project Goal

The proposed work will address this gap by testing possible benefits of a novel, internet-delivered program to support children with cancer and their parents in coping with and communicating about a child's cancer. The research team includes experts from Vanderbilt University, University of Washington and Nationwide Children's Hospital with experience in pediatric oncology; stress, coping, and family communication in pediatric cancer; internet interventions in pediatric populations; and family-focused interventions to build coping and parenting skills. The study will test the effects of this program in 150 families of children with newly diagnosed cancer on reducing emotional distress up to 6 months after participation in the program. This project has the potential to lead to an evidence-based program to improve quality of life and resilience in children with cancer and their parents that can be easily and widely disseminated.

Co-funded by: 
Northwestern Mutual Foundation