How psychosocial interventions meet the needs of children of parents with cancer: A review and critical evaluation

Jeneva L. Ohan, Hayley M. Jackson, Samantha Bay, Julia N. Morris, Angelita Martini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate how psychosocial interventions for children aged 0–18 years of a parent with cancer meet their needs, using key needs as consumer-based “standards.”. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted. Fifteen interventions met inclusion criteria and were assessed against six key needs identified by Ellis et al. (Eur. J. Cancer Care, 26, 2017, e12432): (1) provide children with age-appropriate information about their parent's cancer; (2) support family communication; (3) normalise and reduce feelings of isolation through peer support; (4) provide a space to share feelings; (5) individually tailor support; and (6), where appropriate, provide specialised bereavement support. Results: No intervention clearly met all six needs, but each partially addressed at least two needs, and three clearly met at least four needs. The most commonly addressed need was supporting family communication, and the least addressed need was bereavement support. Conclusion: Interventions identified in this review addressed some needs of children impacted by a parent's cancer. This research provides a framework to inform the creation, modification and implementation of psychosocial support interventions that best meet the needs of these children, thereby mobilising consumer-focused service provision.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13237
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • cancer
  • child
  • interventions
  • psychosocial needs
  • systematic review


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