The efficacy of interactive group psychoeducation for children with leukaemia: A randomised controlled trial

Marianne Day, Sally Clarke, Deema Hussein, Mohamad Saka, Christopher B. Stride, Myles Jones, Guy Makin, Richard Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate an interactive group psychoeducation programme for children treated for leukaemia. Methods A longitudinal randomised controlled study across four UK hospitals with an immediate (N=26) and delay control group (N=32). The intervention covered the pathophysiology of leukaemia, its treatment, side effects and the importance of positive health behaviours. Primary outcomes were parent-reported child health related quality of life (HRQoL) and behavioural difficulties. Secondary outcomes were child-reported HRQoL, cancer-specific HRQoL, child confidence, caregiver burden, and treatment anxiety. Measures were completed pre- and immediately post-intervention, and at 13 and 26-weeks follow-up. Change over time was analysed using multilevel modelling. Acceptability questionnaires rated the intervention on benefits, recommendations, and barriers to participation. Results The intervention significantly improved parent-reported child HRQoL but did not have a significant effect on other outcomes. Acceptability of the intervention was high. Conclusions This study provides initial evidence that interactive group psychoeducation is acceptable to families and improves HRQoL in children with leukaemia. Difficulties with recruitment removed power to detect effect sizes that are plausible for psychoeducational interventions. Practise implications Further studies to explore the potential of psychoeducation to improve outcomes for children with leukaemia and an examination of barriers to participation within this population are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient education and counseling
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Apr 2021


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