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Development and pilot testing of a coping kit for parents of hospitalized children.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2018 Nov 08

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<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>Serious pediatric illness places great stress on families. Parents who learn coping skills may better manage these stressors. This study sought to develop and refine a stress coping intervention for parents of hospitalized children, assess the intervention acceptability among these parents, and gather preliminary data on stress, negative and positive affect, anxiety, depression, and self-efficacy.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted an observational study in 2 phases, enrolling parents of children who were inpatients with serious illness, 10 in Phase 1 and 40 in Phase 2. All parents completed at baseline measures of stress and psychological well-being and were introduced to the Coping Kit for Parents. Follow-up interviews were conducted at one week (all parents) and one month (Phase 2 parents only) regarding the acceptability of the intervention.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>At baseline, parents reported that stressful situations were frequent (mean=30.6, SD=6.8) and difficult (mean=26.2, SD=7.1), and revealed elevated levels of negative affect (mean=27.3, SD=7.7), depression (mean=8.5, SD=3.7) and anxiety (mean=11.3, SD=3.1), and moderate levels of self-efficacy related to their child's illness (mean=3.3, SD=0.5). The majority of parents used the kit regularly and on a scale of 1 to 7 agreed that the kit was helpful (mean=6.0, SD=0.9), interesting (mean=5.7, SD=1.3), practical (mean=5.7, SD=1.4), enjoyable (mean=6.0, SD=1.3), and they would recommend it to other parents (mean=6.4, SD=0.9).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The Coping Kit for Parents is an acceptable stress management intervention that could be made available to parents of children with serious illness at pediatric hospitals with minimal staff training or time commitment.</p>



Alternate Title

Acad Pediatr




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