Online cognitive-behavioral group intervention for young adult survivors of childhood cancer: a pilot study

Loes M. E. van Erp, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Laura R. Beek, Leontien C. M. Kremer, Jaap G. den Hartogh, Marloes van Gorp, Gea A. Huizinga, Martha A. Grootenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Young adult childhood cancer survivors (YACCS) are a vulnerable group in need of psychosocial support, but tailored interventions are lacking. Aim: To examine feasibility and satisfaction, and to explore preliminary effectiveness of an online group intervention (Op Koers Online for YACCS) aimed at teaching active coping skills and providing peer-contact, thereby reducing and preventing psychosocial problems in YACCS. The intervention is based on psycho-education, cognitive behavioral therapy, and aspects of acceptance and commitment therapy. Methods: YACCS completed questionnaires pre- and post-intervention. Feasibility was based on attendance, drop-out, and an evaluation questionnaire was administered to assess satisfaction. Preliminary effectiveness was evaluated with the Mastery Scale, Illness Cognition Questionnaire, Distress Thermometer, Impact of Cancer - Childhood Survivors, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Preliminary effectiveness was investigated by testing differences on the psychosocial outcomes (coping and psychosocial wellbeing) between T0 and T1 within respondents, using paired samples t tests and Cohen’s d. Results: 10 YACCS participated in the intervention and completed all questionnaires. There was no drop-out; 90% of participants attended five out of six sessions. Overall, participants were satisfied with the intervention; 7.6 on a 0-10 scale. Distress (Cohen’s d=-.6, p=.030) and feelings of helplessness (Cohen’s d=-.8, p=.001) reduced from T0 to T1, while self-efficacy (Cohen’s d=.8, p=.013,) improved. Other outcomes displayed small effects, but did not change significantly. Conclusions: This first, small pilot study showed short-term decrease in distress and feelings of helplessness and improvement of self-efficacy. Op Koers Online was positively evaluated by YACCS and course leaders, filling a gap in psychosocial services for YACCS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of psychosocial oncology
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • online cognitive-behavioral group intervention
  • young adults survivors of childhood cancer

Cite this