Effectiveness of group play therapy based on choice theory on executive functions of children and adolescents with cancer

نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی


1 Ph.D. student in educational psychology, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Ph.D. in health psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate professor, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: The effects of some problems such as cancer in childhood and adolescence remain throughout the lives. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of group play therapy based on the choice theory on executive functions in children and adolescents with cancer.
 Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on 30 cancer patients aged 9-18 years who admitted to Dr. Sheikh Hospital in Mashhad, Iran in 2020. They divided randomly into two experimental group (n= 15) and control group (n= 15). The experimental group received eight sixty-minute sessions of group play therapy based on choice theory, and the control group used the game room. Both groups fulfilled the Executive Functional Behavior Rating Questionnaire (BRIEF). The data were analyzed using ANOVA mix model using SPSS software version 24.
 Results: The findings showed that the intervention has significant effects on shift, emotion control, initiate (P= 0.001), and monitoring (P= 0.04) due to the interactive effect of time and grouping, which shows the effectiveness. Their Partial Eta Squared (ƞ) were 0.42, 0.46, 0.62 and 0.13, respectively, and the inhibition (P= 0.59), working memory (P= 0.59), plan (P= 0.59), and organize (P= 0.29) did not have significant change.
Conclusion: According to the findings, group play therapy based on the choice theory can be used as an effective intervention to improve shift, emotional control, initiate and monitoring in children and adolescents with cancer.


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