International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 21 Num. 1 - March 2021


Psychological Interventions for Parents of Children with Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Volume 21 Num. 1 - March 2021 - Pages 19-31


Bautista, Ana B , Ruiz, Francisco J , Sierra, Marco A , Suárez Falcón, Juan Carlos


This study provides a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that analyzed the efficacy of psychological interventions for parents of children with cancer. The search was conducted in the databases PsycInfo, Medline, PsycArticles, and PsycTests. Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Two independent researchers extracted relevant data, and the studies were assessed for methodological quality. The standardized mean difference (d) was used as the effect size index. The meta-analyses, which applied random and mixed-effects models, showed that weighted effect sizes were statistically significant for depression at posttreatment (d= 1.19). However, the methodological quality moderated the depression estimate. The weighted effect sizes for the remaining variables were not statistically significant: stress/burnout (d= 0.90), quality of life (d= 1.26), anxiety (d= 0.21), posttraumatic stress (d= 0.05), and general indicator of emotional symptoms (d= 0.33). This review also highlights several methodological limitations of the studies. Future directions for research that examines interventions targeting primary caregivers of children with cancer are discussed. In conclusion, more high-quality research is needed to establish the efficacy of psychological interventions for parents of children with cancer.

How to cite this paper: Bautista AB, Ruiz FJ, Sierra MA, & Suárez-Falcón JC (2021). Psychological interventions for parents of children with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 21, 1, 19-31

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