Israeli Study Shows Benefits of Make-A-Wish Interventions


Make-A-Wish Foundation pic
Make-A-Wish Foundation

Krishen Iyer studied public administration and business at San Diego State University before going on to open several insurance brokerages throughout the United States, including Fresno, California-based Iyer Health Shield. Now working in the Fresno real estate field with his company Iyer CRSI, Krishen Iyer supports several charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation works to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening conditions. The foundation was recently involved in an Israeli study on the effectiveness of wish granting on sick children in terms of their psychological health and quality of life.

Written by Anat Shoshani, Keren Mifano, and Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, the 2015 study is entitled “The effects of the Make a Wish intervention on psychiatric symptoms and health-related quality of life of children with cancer: a randomised controlled trial.” The trial looked at the levels of hope, positive or negative affect, optimism, and physical and mental symptoms of 66 children with cancer between the ages of 5 and 12. Whereas half the children’s wishes were granted, the remaining children were assigned to a waitlist.

After taking a baseline measurement of these qualities before the wishes were granted, the researchers took another measurement about five weeks later. The study showed significant improvement in terms of distress, depression, anxiety, positive affect, and quality of life for those whose wishes were fulfilled. Those on the waitlist did not show any significant changes, except in terms of their positive affect, which actually decreased. The authors concluded that hope, especially when addressing something that seems impossible, may help these children better manage the difficulties of dealing with a terminal illness.