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Improving Children’s cancer pain management in the home setting: Development and formative evaluation of a web-based program for parents

Journal title
Computers in biology and medicine
Publication year
Chung, W. W.; Agbayani, C. G.; Martinez, A.; Le, V.; Cortes, H.; Har, K.; Kain, Z. N.; Fortier, M. A.

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Despite advances in health care, the majority of children undergoing cancer treatment experience pain, particularly in the home setting. Mobile health tools provide a promising avenue to deliver pain management education and information to parents of children receiving cancer treatment. The current study describes the development and formative evaluation of a novel intervention, Cancer-Tailored Intervention for Pain and Symptoms (C-TIPS), which provides empirically-based pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain management information and coping skills training to parents of pediatric cancer patients. C-TIPS is a web-based application including a tailoring algorithm, customization tools, guided diaphragmatic breathing training, relaxation practice, and educational material (COPE modules). Thirty parents of children undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer participated in this initial mixed methods pilot study. Participants completed quantitative measures assessing their stress and relaxation ratings and satisfaction with C-TIPS. Formative evaluation and qualitative data were collected using individual and group interviews. RESULTS: Parents reported high satisfaction with both the educational and skills training modules of C-TIPS (ps<0.001). Parent self-reported stress significantly reduced (p=0.004) and relaxation increased (p=0.05) following participation with the skills training module. CONCLUSIONS: C-TIPS is a feasible and well-received web-based intervention that promises to improve pain management in children undergoing cancer treatment, improve stress management in parents, and increase parents' knowledge and understanding of their child's cancer treatment. Results from the current study will help make improvements to C-TIPS in preparation for a randomized-controlled trial of this innovative program.

Research abstracts