Current Recruiting

Evaluation of the Truce program

What is the project about and why is it important?

Each year, 21,000 Australian adolescents and young adults (aged 12-25 years) have a parent who is newly diagnosed with cancer. Research has shown that having a parent with cancer can have a variety of effects upon a young person, from disruption to normal family, home and school life through to an increase in psychological distress and symptoms such as increased anxiety, depression, behavioural problems and changes in normal functioning.

Truce is designed to help young people who have a parent with cancer deal with difficult thoughts and feelings, help young people communicate with others (especially their family) and improve how they feel about their situation.

Truce is being evaluated to determine whether the sessions are effective in decreasing the psychological distress and improving the wellbeing of young people who have a parent with cancer.

Young people will take part in 7 group sessions with other young people who have a parent with cancer. These sessions will run for about 2 hours.

The groups are led by experienced facilitators who will take the group through a series of activities and discussions based on coping skill development. Parents or caregivers are invited to take part in one joint session with the group, but it is up to the individual if they want to invite their parent/care giver.

The program is being assessed through the administration of three surveys – at the beginning, at the immediate end of the group, and then 2 months after the group finishes. The study is being conducted through a controlled trial.  This means that some people complete the all surveys before starting the group (wait-list control condition). That way we can compare the effects of Truce to a control group. The surveys ask questions about feelings, ways of coping with stress, family situation and general wellbeing.

To learn more about the research project: [link to information sheet]

The Truce program and associated research study has been approved by the University of Wollongong Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC No.: HE11/482).

Truce has been registered as a clinical trial through the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (Trial ID: ACTRN12615000761561)

Any young people aged between 14-22 who have a parent or caregiver who was diagnosed or relapsed with cancer within the last 5 years.

Please contact Stephanie Konings on stephanie.konings@canteen.org.au or 1800 234 007

Patterson, P., McDonald, F. E. J., Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L. & Tracey, D. (2017, June). TRUCE: The development and evaluation of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for young people who have a parent with cancer. In L. Hulbert-Williams (Chair), ACT in the oncology setting: Better understanding how ACT can be used to improve the wellbeing of those affected by cancer. Symposium conducted at the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science World Conference 15, Seville, Spain.

Patterson, P., McDonald, F., Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L., Tracey, D., Wakefield, C. W., White, K. & Wright, A. (2016, June). Evaluation of TRUCE: An acceptance and commitment therapy based program for young people who have a parent with cancer.  Paper presented at the World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (WCBCT), Melbourne, Australia.

Patterson, P., McDonald, F. E. J., Wright, A., Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L., Tracey, D (2016, September). Evaluation of Truce: An acceptance and commitment therapy program for young people who have a parent with cancer.  Paper presented at the 2016 APS Congress, Melbourne, Australia.

Patterson, P., McDonald, F. E. J., Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L., Tracey, D., Wakefield, C. E., & White, K. (2015). A study protocol for Truce: a pragmatic controlled trial of a seven-week acceptance and commitment therapy program for young people who have a parent with cancer. BMC Psychology, 3. 31. doi:10.1186/s40359-015-0087-y

Patterson, P., McDonald, F. E. J., Ciarrochi, J., Hayes, L. & Tracey, D. (2015, July). Evaluation of Truce: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) program for young people who have a parent with cancer. Paper presented at the 2015 World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, Washington, DC. Psycho-Oncology, 24(Suppl. 2), 56. doi: 10.1002/pon.3873.

McDonald, F., Patterson, P. & Davis, E. (2013, April). Evaluating ‘Truce’: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for adolescents and young adults who have a parent with cancer. Paper presented at the 2013 Inaugural APS Health Psychology Conference, Cairns, Australia.

McDonald, F. E. J., Patterson, P. & Davis, E. (2013, April). Evaluating ‘Truce’: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for adolescents and young adults who have a parent with cancer. Paper presented at the CAFIG Blue Mountains Gathering, Katoomba, Australia.

Patterson, P., McDonald, F., Ciarrochi, J., White, K., Wakefield, C., Tracy, D., Hayes, L. & Lane, L. (2012, July). Support for adolescents and young adults who have a parent with cancer: Protocol of a randomised cluster trial of truce an acceptance and commitment therapy based program. Paper presented at the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia 15th Winter Congress, Hobart, Australia.

If you wish to find out more about this project please contact Stephanie Konings on stephanie.konings@canteen.org.au or 1800 234 007