Adaptation of Problem-Solving Skills Training (PSST) for parent caregivers of youth with chronic pain

Tonya M. Palermo, Emily F. Law, Bonnie Essner, Tricia Jessen-Fiddick, Christopher Eccleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (SciVal)


Research on the experience of parents caring for a child with chronic pain indicates that high levels of parental role stress, feelings of frustration over an inability to help, and psychological distress are common. Moreover, parental distress adversely influences child adjustment to chronic pain. Therefore, intervening with parents of youth with chronic pain may, in turn, result in positive outcomes for children in their ability to engage in positive coping strategies, reduce their own distress, and to function competently in their normal daily lives. Our aim was to adapt an intervention, problem-solving skills training, previously proven effective in reducing parental distress in other pediatric illness conditions to the population of caregivers of youth with chronic pain. In the first phase, the intervention was adapted based on expert review of the literature and review of parent responses on a measure of pain-related family impact. In the second phase, the intervention was tested in a small group of parents to evaluate feasibility, determined by response to treatment content, ratings of acceptability, and ability to enroll and deliver the treatment visits. This phase included piloting the PSST intervention and all outcome measures at pretreatment and immediately posttreatment. In an exploratory manner we examined change in parent distress and child physical function and depression from pre- to posttreatment. Findings from this feasibility study suggest that PSST can be implemented with parents of youth with chronic pain, and they find the treatment acceptable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.


  • caregiver stress
  • intervention
  • parents
  • pediatric chronic pain
  • problem-solving therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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