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Evaluation of a focused short-term preventive counselling project for families with a parent with cancer

Evaluation of a focused short-term preventive counselling project for families with a parent with cancer

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11(4): 529-542

Twenty-four families participated in counselling for families with a parent with cancer (24 mothers, 17 fathers, and 34 children). Parents who received counselling were significantly more depressed before the counselling than a nonrandomized control group who did not receive counselling, but participated in another part of the project. For the parents, there was a significant decrease in depression and increase in family functioning scores from before to after the intervention. For the children, a significant pre- to post-decrease in depression scores was found. Changes in depression and family functioning were significantly correlated with the degree of counselling contentment. Reasons for seeking counselling were insecurity in relation to the children, problems with communication, high level of conflict, and change of roles. A number of themes appeared when parents and children described what they gained from the counselling: Confirmation in being a 'good-enough' parent, more understanding of emotions and reactions of other family members, more sense of intimacy and cohesion within the family, and normalization of own feelings.

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Accession: 048993425

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PMID: 17163222

DOI: 10.1177/1359104506067875

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