Parent-Delivered Massage in Paediatric Cancer

Official Title

Parent-Delivered Massage in Paediatric Cancer


The purpose of this study is to determine how parents of children with cancer rate a parent-delivered massage therapy educational program for usability and satisfaction, and if massage therapy, provided by parents to their child with cancer, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in the child, and parenting stress in the parent.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • To test the feasibility of the educational intervention in parent-delivered massage for children undergoing treatment for cancer at a paediatric oncology centre, to guide sample size estimation for a future randomized trial.
Secondary Outcome:
  • My Story
  • Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale
  • Pediatric Inventory for Parents
  • Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults
  • The Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale
  • State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children
  • Parent Journals
  • Child Journals
In Canadian children aged 0-19, the number of new cancer cases from 1997-2001 was on average 1,285 children per year for a total of 6,427 children over a five year period. Individual and family responses to a child's or adolescent's cancer diagnosis and treatment include psychological, sociocultural and biological dimensions. Parents of children with cancer can experience severe emotional distress including anxiety and depression. Parents require support and skills to reduce their own anxiety and distress and to help alleviate suffering in their children. This is a two-phase research project: phase I: development of a standardized educational intervention on video/DVD to teach parents how to massage their child with cancer; phase II: test the feasibility of the developed intervention with children with cancer and their parents. A total of 24 parents and their children with cancer who are under the care of the paediatric oncology units at the Stollery Children's Hospital (Edmonton) will be recruited for the study. It is hypothesized that this research on an educational program in parent-delivered massage therapy will directly improve the lives of children with cancer and their parents.

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society