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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Apr;73(2):272-83.

Using problem-solving skills training to reduce negative affectivity in mothers of children with newly diagnosed cancer: report of a multisite randomized trial.

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  • 1Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Mothers of children with cancer experience significant distress associated with their children's diagnosis and treatment. The efficacy of problem-solving skills training (PSST), a cognitive-behavioral intervention based on problem-solving therapy, was assessed among 430 English- and Spanish-speaking mothers of recently diagnosed patients. Participants were randomized to usual psychosocial care (UPC; n=213) or UPC plus 8 sessions of PSST (PSST; n=217). Compared with UPC mothers, PSST mothers reported significantly enhanced problem-solving skills and significantly decreased negative affectivity. Although effects were largest immediately after PSST, several differences in problem-solving skills and distress levels persisted to the 3-month follow-up. In general, efficacy for Spanish-speaking mothers exceeded that for English-speaking mothers. Findings also suggest young, single mothers profit most from PSST.

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