To estimate the effectiveness of psychological interventions in pediatric oncology on decreasing psychological distress and increasing psychological adjustment using meta-analytic methods.
A meta-analysis was conducted on 12 psychological intervention studies in pediatric oncology using a weighted least squares (WLS) approach and random effect models.
Effect sizes significantly different from zero were found for parent distress (mean = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.20-0.49, n = 7) and parent adjustment (mean = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.07-0.40, n = 5). Effect sizes for child distress, child adjustment, parent-reported child distress, and parent-reported child adjustment were not significantly different from zero.
Psychological interventions in pediatric oncology show promise in decreasing distress and improving the adjustment of parents of children with cancer but may have minimal effects for child outcomes. Methodological issues of intervention research are discussed.
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