Report from a Multi-Institutional Randomized Clinical Trial Examining Computer-Assisted Problem-Solving Skills Training for English- and Spanish-Speaking Mothers of Children with Newly Diagnosed Cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a handheld personal digital assistant (PDA)-based supplement for maternal Problem-Solving Skills Training (PSST) and to explore Spanish-speaking mothers' experiences with it. METHODS: Mothers (n = 197) of children with newly diagnosed cancer were randomized to traditional PSST or PSST + PDA 8-week programs. Participants completed the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Profile of Mood States, and Impact of Event Scale-Revised pre-, post-treatment, and 3 months after completion of the intervention. Mothers also rated optimism, logic, and confidence in the intervention and technology. RESULTS: Both groups demonstrated significant positive change over time on all psychosocial measures. No between-group differences emerged. Despite technological "glitches," mothers expressed moderately high optimism, appreciation for logic, and confidence in both interventions and rated the PDA-based program favorably. Technology appealed to all Spanish-speaking mothers, with younger mothers showing greater proficiency. CONCLUSIONS: Well-designed, supported technology holds promise for enhancing psychological interventions.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Askins, M. A., Sahler, O., Sherman, S. A., Fairclough, D. L., Butler, R. W., Katz, E. R., ... Phipps, S.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Askins, Martha A||Sahler, Olle Jane Z||Sherman, Sandra A||Fairclough, Diane L||Butler, Robert W||Katz, Ernest R||Dolgin, Michael J||Varni, James W||Noll, Robert B||Phipps, Sean

publication date

  • June 2009