The psychosocial needs of children with cancer and their families are well-documented in the literature,
including the increased risk of parental posttraumatic stress, parental anxiety, and decreased family
functioning. There is a critical need to provide evidence-based psychosocial care to parents of children with
cancer, although many challenges exist with regard to in-person intervention delivery. For example, it can be
difficult for parents to schedule additional in-person appointments during cancer treatment, and many pediatric
cancer centers lack adequately trained psychosocial staff. eHealth interventions represent an exciting potential
opportunity to address many of the barriers to in-person intervention delivery in this population, but are not yet
widely utilized in pediatric psychosocial cancer care. eSCCIP is an innovative eHealth intervention for parents
of children with cancer, delivered through a combination of self-guided interactive online content and telehealth
follow-up with a therapist. eSCCIP aims to decrease symptoms of anxiety, distress, and posttraumatic stress
while improving family functioning by delivering evidence-based therapeutic content through a flexible, easily
accessible intervention tool. The intervention is grounded in principles of cognitive-behavioral and family
systems therapy and is adapted from two efficacious in-person interventions for caregivers of children with
cancer, the Surviving Cancer Competently Intervention Program (SCCIP) and the Surviving Cancer
Competently Intervention Program – Newly Diagnosed (SCCIP-ND). eSSCIP has been rigorously developed
over two years through a stakeholder-engaged development process involving close collaboration with parents
of children with cancer, content experts in pediatric oncology and eHealth, and web design and development
experts. The four self-guided online modules feature a mix of didactic video content, novel multifamily video
discussion groups featuring parents of children with cancer, and hands-on interactive activities. Preliminary
Think Aloud testing has been completed and led to several rounds of design and functionality improvements.
The objective of the proposed study is to establish feasibility and acceptability of eSCCIP in a diverse group of
parents of children with cancer. A secondary, exploratory goal is to evaluate preliminary intervention
effectiveness for key psychosocial outcomes. Specific Aim 1 is to identify strategies for increasing participant
engagement and retention by conducting focus groups with a diverse sample of parents of children with cancer
prior to pilot testing. Specific Aim 2 is to demonstrate the feasibility of eSCCIP through pilot testing with a
diverse sample of parents of children with cancer. Specific Aim 3 is to evaluate preliminary effectiveness of
eSCCIP through pilot testing with parents of children with cancer. The proposed study is an important first step
in meeting a critical need for families of children with cancer and collecting data to power a randomized clinical
trial to establish clinical efficacy.
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