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DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000001038


BACKGROUND: Parents of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer offer primary support to their children and often experience their own high levels of distress, affecting parent-AYA communication and quality of life.

OBJECTIVE: To reduce parent distress and improve communication during high-risk cancer treatment, we examined efficacy of a self-care and communication intervention for parents and indirect benefit for AYAs receiving a therapeutic music video (TMV) intervention.

METHODS: In this study, we conducted a multisite, randomized controlled trial with AYAs and parents enrolled as dyads (n = 110). Parents were randomized to intervention or low-dose control; all AYAs received TMV. Data collection occurred at baseline, 2 weeks post intervention (T2), and 90 days post intervention (T3).

RESULTS: There were no significant between-group differences on primary outcomes for parents or AYAs. We did find significant differences favoring the parent intervention group on parenting confidence at T2 and marginally better outcomes for family adaptability/cohesion at T3. Both groups exhibited significant within-group improvement for parent distress (state anxiety, T3; perceived stress, T2 and T3; mood, T3), state anxiety (T2) intervention only, and family strengths control group only. Qualitative data demonstrate the parent intervention raised self-awareness and parent confidence in the short term.

CONCLUSION: Parents found their intervention helpful. Absence of significant results may be due to short intervention duration, need for tailored content, underpowered sample, and potential indirect parent benefit from AYA participation in TMV. The parent intervention did not provide an indirect benefit for AYAs.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Parents identified their own need for communication and support from nurses. Nurses can optimize AYA care by attending to parent needs through supportive listening and encouraging self-care.

Journal Title

Cancer nursing





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Communication; Humans; Neoplasms; Parenting; Parents; Quality of Life; Self Care; Young Adult


Communication; Neoplasms; Parenting; Parents; Quality of Life; Self Care


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