Psychosocial Intervention Programs for Parents of Children with Cancer: A Systematic Review and Critical Comparison of Programs’ Models and Development

  • David OgezEmail author
  • Katherine Péloquin
  • Laurence Bertout
  • Claude-Julie Bourque
  • Daniel Curnier
  • Simon Drouin
  • Caroline Laverdière
  • Valérie Marcil
  • Rebeca Ribeiro
  • Melissa Callaci
  • Emélie Rondeau
  • Daniel Sinnett
  • Serge Sultan


Intervention programs have been developed to help parents cope with their child’s cancer. Despite some studies reporting a high level of evidence, it is unclear how these programs build on each other. Appraising models of change is critical to advance scientific knowledge and provide evidence-based interventions. This review aims to identify existing programs, explicitly formulate their underlying models, evaluate how they translate into concrete activities, as well as identify and discuss their development process. Eleven programs based on models of change from cognitive-behavioral, systemic and counselling theories were identified. Many models included a sound theoretical framework, targeted outcomes, as well as implementation strategies. In most cases, preliminary development studies were conducted, but details were rarely provided on how development stages informed the redesign of intervention programs. Acceptability and treatment fidelity were not available for one-third of the programs. Future reports should document the development and design redesign stages prior to conducting efficacy trials, as this step would provide crucial details to critically appraise programs.


Pediatric cancer Parents Psychosocial Intervention program Systematic review 



We thank the authors of these programs for sharing unpublished documents, the reviewers for their suggestions for improving the manuscript, and the members of our laboratory, J. Aramideh, A. Anestin and K. Lamore for their proofreading.


This work was supported by Charles-Bruneau Cancer Care Centre Foundation and CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation. The funding was made possible through a donation of Sobeys-Plaisir de mieux manger Foundation to DS, VM, SD, and SS. DO is a recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship from the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec—Santé. the Sainte-Justine Foundation, Montreal, Canada.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

David Ogez, Katherine Péloquin, Laurence Bertout, Claude-Julie Bourque, Daniel Curnier, Simon Drouin, Caroline Laverdière, Valérie Marcil, Rebeca Ribeiro, Melissa Callaci, Emélie Rondeau, Daniel Sinnett, and Serge Sultan declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ogez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  • Katherine Péloquin
    • 2
  • Laurence Bertout
    • 1
  • Claude-Julie Bourque
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniel Curnier
    • 1
    • 4
  • Simon Drouin
    • 1
  • Caroline Laverdière
    • 1
    • 3
  • Valérie Marcil
    • 1
    • 5
  • Rebeca Ribeiro
    • 2
  • Melissa Callaci
    • 2
  • Emélie Rondeau
    • 1
  • Daniel Sinnett
    • 4
  • Serge Sultan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Sainte-Justine University Health CentreMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Department of KinesiologyUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  5. 5.Department of DieteticUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  6. 6.Research CenterSainte-Justine University Health CentreMontréalCanada

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