Family Based Interventions

The feasibility and efficacy of family-based interventions in treating children and adolescents with SCD have also been examined. Research has shown connections between parent and child coping strategies (Gil et al. 1991) and suggested that families of children with chronic illness play an important role in coping with illness-related stressors (Kazak and Drotar 1997). Kaslow et al. (2000) conducted a trial of a family-based coping intervention that included disease education, coping skills training, and strategies to improve interpersonal and family relationships. Results showed that SCD knowledge increased, although no significant effects of the treatment were found on measures of psychological adjustment. In addition, Kaslow et al. (2000) documented the importance of developing treatments that take the sociocultural context of families into account and that allow for flexibility and ongoing adaptation in treatment procedures. Powers et al. (2002) conducted a small pilot study (N= 3) that provided six sessions of intensive pain management skills training to both children with SCD and their caregivers (for session outlines, see Powers et al. 2002). Results revealed that all participants showed improvements in coping and daily functioning, although specific changes in coping strategies varied across participants.

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