Being a parent and coping with cancer: Intervention development

Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon, Michal Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Diagnosis of a parent's cancer has a profound influence on the parent, the children and the child-parent relationship, and puts all family members at risk for psychological distress. This article describes the development and the first attempts at implementation of an intervention aimed at helping people cope with difficulties arising from being both parents and cancer patients. Methods: Based on themes discussed in focus groups with parents coping with cancer and with professionals in the field, a four-module psychological intervention was developed. The modules are: Telling and Sharing, Children' Responses, Routine and Changes, and Learning and Awareness as a Parent. The techniques used are mainly psycho-educational and cognitive-behavioral. Results: Preliminary experience showed this intervention to be more feasible as a one-day workshop than as a four-session intervention. Parents who participated in two workshops reported it to be helpful in empowering them as parents and in imparting learning tools for identifying their children's needs, as well as for communicating with their children.Significance of results: Intervention tailored specifically for parents coping with cancer can be relevant for their special needs. Research is needed to establish the effectiveness of this intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Cancer
  • Children
  • Intervention
  • Parenting


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