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Technology-Based Psychosocial Program Effective for Adolescent Leukemia Survivors

Technology-based psychosocial counseling and education improve the quality of life, emotional self-efficacy and coping skills in adolescent leukemia survivors, according to the study results presented at the Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in 2021.

The randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of the program developed by pediatric nursing specialists. The program includes 10 weeks of education and counseling with 5 modules and 3 months of follow-up. The module categories were self-awareness and goal development, communication skills, coping skills, problem-solving skills, as well as awareness-raising and health promotion.

Each module was supported with an interactive activity and audiovisual tools, and the pediatric nurse sent regular mobile messages to encourage and motivate participants to implement the recommendations.


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The cohort included adolescent leukemia survivors aged 12 to 18 who had completed treatment at least 2 years prior to the study and were able to use a computer and / or smartphone and have internet access. The participants were assigned to the intervention group (24 patients) or a control group (31 patients).

Measurements were taken at baseline, post-intervention, 1 month post-intervention, and 3 months post-intervention using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, Child Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, KIDCOPE, and Program Effectiveness Assessment Questionnaire.

With regard to quality of life, significant improvements in general, physical and psychosocial health in the intervention group were observed at the fourth follow-up. The 3-month total and psychosocial subscale values of the quality of life of the intervention group were significantly higher than those of the control group (P. <.05).

For self-efficacy, the total values of the participants in the intervention group increased from the third follow-up to the fourth follow-up, and the emotional self-efficacy scores increased from the baseline to the fourth follow-up and from the third follow-up to the fourth follow-up. The general self-efficacy was not significantly different between the two groups. The scores of the 3-month subscale for emotional self-efficacy were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (P. <.05).

With regard to coping skills, the active coping scores of the participants in the intervention group were significantly higher and the negative coping scores lower than in the control group (P. <.05).

“This program could be incorporated into aftercare and used as one of the supportive methods in providing and maintaining long-term follow-up care by pediatric oncology nurses,” the researchers concluded.

Read more from The reporting of the hematology consultant about the ESMO 2021 on the conference page.

reference

Arpaci T, Altay N, Copur GY. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a technology-based psychosocial education and counseling program for adolescent leukemia survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Paper presented at: European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2021; 16.-21. September 2021. Summary CN4.

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