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To determine the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effects of Meaning-Centered Grief Therapy (MCGT) for parents who lost a child to cancer.
Parents who lost a child to cancer and who were between six months and six years after loss and reporting elevated levels of prolonged grief were enrolled in open trials of MCGT, a manualized, one-on-one cognitive-behavioral-existential intervention that used psychoeducation, experiential exercises, and structured discussion to explore themes related to meaning, identity, purpose, and legacy. Parents completed 16 weekly sessions, 60–90 minutes in length, either in person or through videoconferencing. Parents were administered measures of prolonged grief disorder symptoms, meaning in life, and other assessments of psychological adjustment preintervention, mid-intervention, postintervention, and at three months postintervention. Descriptive data from both the in-person and videoconferencing open trial were pooled.
Eight of 11 (72%) enrolled parents started the MCGT intervention, and six of eight (75%) participants completed all 16 sessions. Participants provided positive feedback about MCGT. Results showed postintervention longitudinal improvements in prolonged grief (d = 1.70), sense of meaning (d = 2.11), depression (d = 0.84), hopelessness (d = 1.01), continuing bonds with their child (d = 1.26), posttraumatic growth (ds = 0.29–1.33), positive affect (d = 0.99), and various health-related quality of life domains (d = 0.46–0.71). Most treatment gains were either maintained or increased at the three-month follow-up assessment.
Significance of results
Overall, preliminary data suggest that this 16-session, manualized cognitive-behavioral-existential intervention is feasible, acceptable, and associated with transdiagnostic improvements in psychological functioning among parents who have lost a child to cancer. Future research should examine MCGT with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the interactions between weight perceptions, weight control behaviours and body fatness in a multiethnic sample of adolescent girls.
A cross-sectional study.
Girls from European (37·7 %), Pacific Island (21·6 %), East Asian (15·8 %), Maori (10·2 %) and South Asian (9·6 %) populations and from other ethnicities (5·0 %).
A sample of 954 girls aged 11–15 years participated in the study. BMI was derived from height and weight, whereas body fat (BF) was determined from hand-to-foot bioimpedance measurements. Weight perceptions, weight control behaviours and pubertal stage were assessed by questionnaire.
Body size and fatness varied significantly across ethnic groups. Although few differences in weight perceptions were observed between BMI and %BF percentile groups, a relatively high degree of weight misclassification was evident across all BF categories. The number of girls trying to lose weight exceeded those who perceived themselves as being overweight, with the magnitude of the difference dependent on ethnicity. Of the girls trying to lose weight, the combination of dieting and exercise was the most common weight loss practice; however, a substantial proportion reported neither exercise nor dieting. Weight status perception was a stronger predictor of weight loss intent than actual BF when controlling for all other factors.
Interventions and educational campaigns that assist girls in recognising a state of excess BF are a priority for all ethnic groups to increase the likelihood that behavioural changes necessary to combat widespread overweight and obesity are adopted.