Using Problem-Solving Skills Training to Reduce Negative Affectivity in Mothers of Children With Newly Diagnosed Cancer: Report of a Multisite Randomized Trial Academic Article uri icon


  • Mothers of children with cancer experience significant distress associated with their children's diagnosis and treatment. The efficacy of problem-solving skills training (PSST), a cognitive-behavioral intervention based on problem-solving therapy, was assessed among 430 English- and Spanish-speaking mothers of recently diagnosed patients. Participants were randomized to usual psychosocial care (UPC; n=213) or UPC plus 8 sessions of PSST (PSST; n=217). Compared with UPC mothers, PSST mothers reported significantly enhanced problem-solving skills and significantly decreased negative affectivity. Although effects were largest immediately after PSST, several differences in problem-solving skills and distress levels persisted to the 3-month follow-up. In general, efficacy for Spanish-speaking mothers exceeded that for English-speaking mothers. Findings also suggest young, single mothers profit most from PSST.

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Sahler, O., Fairclough, D. L., Phipps, S., Mulhern, R. K., Dolgin, M. J., Noll, R. B., ... Butler, R. W.

citation count

  • 201

complete list of authors

  • Sahler, Olle Jane Z||Fairclough, Diane L||Phipps, Sean||Mulhern, Raymond K||Dolgin, Michael J||Noll, Robert B||Katz, Ernest R||Varni, James W||Copeland, Donna R||Butler, Robert W

publication date

  • April 2005