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Family talk intervention in paediatric oncology: a pilot study protocol
  1. Malin Lövgren1,2,
  2. Ulrika Kreicbergs1,2,
  3. Camilla Udo1,3
  1. 1 Department of Health Care Sciences, Palliative Research Centre, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2 The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3 School of Education, Health and Society, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Malin Lövgren; malin.lovgren{at}


Introduction There is evidence that families with a child diagnosed with cancer need psychosocial support throughout the illness trajectory. Unfortunately, there is little research into psychosocial interventions for such families, especially interventions where the entire family is involved. The aim of this pilot study is therefore to evaluate a psychosocial intervention, the family talk intervention (FTI), in paediatric oncology in terms of study feasibility and potential effects.

Methods and analysis This pretest/post-test intervention pilot study is based on families with a child diagnosed with cancer. All families that include at least one child aged 6–19 years (ill child and/or sibling) at one of the six paediatric oncology centres in Sweden between September 2018 and September 2019 will be asked about participation. The intervention consists of six meetings with the family (part of the family or the entire family), led by two interventionists. The core elements in the intervention are to support the families in talking about the illness and related subjects, support the parents in understanding the needs of their children and how to support them and support the families in identifying their strengths and how to use them best. Mixed methods are used to evaluate the intervention (web-based questionnaires, interviews, field notes and observations). Self-reported data from all family members are collected at baseline, directly after the intervention and 6 months later. Study outcomes are family communication, knowledge about the illness, resilience, quality of life and grief.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the Regional Ethical Review Board in Stockholm (Dnr 2018/250-31/2 and 2018/1852–32). Data are processed in coded form, accessible only to the research team and stored at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College in a secure server.

Trial registration Identifier NCT03650530, registered in August 2018.

  • oncology
  • palliative care

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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors ML has contributed to the design of the study, pretest of the questionnaires and writing the manuscript. UK and CU have contributed to the design of the study and edited the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Swedish Childhood Foundation, grants number TJ2016-005 and PR2016-0013.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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