Childhood cancer can prove to be traumatic for mothers and coping with the situation is a huge challenge.
"Now that we have developed a solid intervention that we know helps mothers cope with stress, we want to create computer-based programs that will provide problem-solving training to parents who may not have access to psychologists or other support systems," said Martha Askins, Ph.D., assistant professor at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital in Houston.
The PSST intervention was developed through the consortium. The training consists of eight, one-hour individual sessions between mother and therapist, in which they identify the mother's primary stressors, brainstorm solutions, weigh the benefits and costs associated with each solution, implement one of the solutions and evaluate its effectiveness.
"In families with more than one child, it's common for us to counsel with mothers who are stressed about being there for their child in the hospital as well as their children back home," said Askins, co-presenter of the report with Miller Children's Sandra Sherman-Bien, Ph.D. "Using PSST, we've been able to come up with solutions that address this personal dilemma."
Also known as the Bright Ideas program, the method was designated recently by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a research-tested intervention that will be included in their National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. Funding for the study was provided through the National Institutes of Health.