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Efficacy of a Resourcefulness Intervention to Enhance the Physical and Mental Health of Parents Caring for Technology-dependent Children at Home: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

INTRODUCTION: Parent caregivers of children who require lifesaving medical technology (e.g., mechanical ventilation, feeding tubes) must constantly maintain vigilance. Poor physical and psychological health can negatively impact their ability to do so.

METHOD: A two-arm randomized controlled trial was conducted with 197 parent caregivers of technology-dependent children (aged < 18 years) to test the efficacy of Resourcefulness Training1 , a cognitive-behavioral intervention that teaches social (help-seeking) and personal (self-help) resourcefulness skills, in improving key outcomes including mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL), depressive cognitions and symptoms, perceived and physiological chronic stress, burden, and physical HRQOL at five-time points.

RESULTS: Mixed-effects models using the intent-to-treat principle indicated statistically significant improvement with intervention participants at six and/or nine months postintervention for depressive cognitions, perceived stress, and physical HRQOL, controlling for covariates.

DISCUSSION: Study findings support the efficacy of Resourcefulness Training to significantly decrease perceived stress and improve psychological/physical outcomes with these vulnerable caregivers.

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