Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Bibliotherapy and Its Effect on Anxiety in Children with Cancer

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Bibliotherapy and Its Effect on Anxiety in Children with Cancer

Article excerpt

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems for children with sub-clinical levels even more prevalent. Children who have cancer and undergo various treatment procedures tend to have higher levels of emotional distress than their peers. Although traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective in decreasing such distress, bibliotherapy has been found to be a convenient, inexpensive, and effective psychological intervention. This study examined how reading a disease-relevant story, embedded with literature-supported coping strategies influenced a child's chronic illness-related distress. It was expected that children who read this book would experience a decrease in their perceived distress compared to their pre-intervention level distress.

Twenty-one children ages 4 to 12 with various cancers, primarily hematological diagnoses, were recruited for this study and asked to rate their functioning across several domains utilizing the Child Outcome Rating Scale and a supplemental form targeting perceived physiological arousal (Duncan BL, Miller SD, Sparks JA. The child outcome rating scale. Ft Lauderdale, FL: Authors, 2003). Participants were read Nikki's Day at Chemo, an illustrated bibliotherapy intervention created solely for this research study. …

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