OBJECTIVE: This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the effectiveness of psychoeducational interventions in improving quality of life (QoL) for children with chronic conditions.
METHODS: We identified 25 randomized controlled trials of psychoeducational interventions for children with chronic conditions that reported a QoL outcome and were published 1980-2018. Due to small numbers of interventions in other chronic conditions, comparisons between chronic conditions were limited to 17 studies addressing interventions for asthma and diabetes.
RESULTS: Psychoeducational interventions were associated with a small, statistically significant improvement in QoL (standardized mean difference = 0.14; 95% confidence interval: 0.06-0.23). The effect was significantly larger for asthma interventions compared to diabetes interventions, and in interventions delivered to younger (under 12 years) rather than older children (12 years and over).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that currently evaluated psychoeducational interventions improve QoL for children with asthma but not for children with diabetes. Children with diabetes may require tailored interventions with additional components alongside psychoeducation. Further intervention studies are needed to generalize to other conditions and to draw conclusions about which settings and modes of delivery are most effective in improving QoL.
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