Helping parents cope better when their child finishes cancer treatment: The 'Cascade' program, funded by Kids with Cancer Foundation Australia.

Emma Doolan Emma Doolan, researcher.


Our team (Sydney Children's Hospital) has developed an online program named 'Cascade' (Cope, Adapt, Survive: life after Cancer) to improve parents' quality of life after cancer treatment.

This program of research aims to provide world-first data on the prevalence and predictors of parental sleep while caring for a child with cancer, both in the hospital-ward and home-settings. This will support the development of an evidence-based, tailored intervention designed specifically to help parents of children with cancer sleep better. In this way we aim to assist parents sustain a good quality of life during this challenging time and to help combat the potential flow-on effects poor sleep may have on the extent to which they can remain resilient when trying to cope with difficult medical outcomes, emotional distress, driving while fatigued and meeting the ongoing demands of their life (such as caring for health siblings, or maintaining work commitments). 

Cascade is delivered by a Psychologist in six weekly, 90 minute videoconferencing modules, with 3-5 parents/carers per group. We are now commencing a phase 11 randomised trial will assess the efficacy of Cascade in improving quality of life in parents/carers of young survivors compared to an online peer support group and a waitlist control. The program also aims to reduce parent/carer depression and anxiety, and improve parenting competence, family functioning and child and sibling wellbeing. 

We urge you to consider the children in a hospital near you.  Please donate, post cheques to: Kids with Cancer Foundation, PO Box 135 Westmead NSW 2145 or for credit cards: free-call any donations to 1800 255522, and we guarantee that 100% of these direct donations will be passed to families & hospital cancer wards, or use this Donate now button or at the top of the page.

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