Using a web-based game to prevent posttraumatic stress in children following medical events: design of a randomized controlled trial

Marsac, Meghan L. and Kohser, Kristen L. and Winston, Flaura K. and Kenardy, Justin and March, Sonja and Kassam-Adams, Nancy (2013) Using a web-based game to prevent posttraumatic stress in children following medical events: design of a randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 4. p. 21311. ISSN 2000-8198

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Background: Medical events including acute illness and injury are among the most common potentially traumatic experiences for children. Despite the scope of the problem, only limited resources are available for prevention of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) after pediatric medical events. Web-based programs provide a low-cost, accessible means to reach a wide range of families and show promise in related areas of child mental health.
Objectives: To describe the design of a randomized controlled trial that will evaluate feasibility and estimate preliminary efficacy of Coping Coach, a web-based preventive intervention to prevent or reduce PTSS after acute pediatric medical events.
Method: Seventy children and their parents will be randomly assigned to either an intervention or a waitlist control condition. Inclusion criteria require that children are aged 8-12 years, have experienced a medical event, have access to Internet and telephone, and have sufficient competency in the English language to complete measures and understand the intervention. Participants will complete baseline measures and will then be randomized to the intervention or waitlist control condition. Children in the intervention condition will complete module 1 (Feelings Identification) in the hospital and will be instructed on how to complete modules 2 (Appraisals) and 3 (Avoidance) online. Follow-up assessments will be conducted via telephone at 6, 12, and 18 weeks after the baseline assessment. Following the 12-week assessment, children in the waitlist control condition will receive instructions for completing the intervention.
Results: Primary study outcomes include data on intervention feasibility and outcomes (child appraisals, coping, PTSS and health-related quality of life).
Discussion: Results will provide data on the feasibility of the implementation of the Coping Coach intervention and study procedures as well as estimations of efficacy to determine sample size for a larger study. Potential strengths and limitations of this design are discussed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2014 00:44
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 00:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: trauma; early intervention; prevention; Internet; PTSD
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.21311

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