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Posttraumatic stress disorder among parents of children on cancer treatment: a longitudinal study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Psychosocial oncology and supportive care.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Barnonkologisk forskning/Pfeifer)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Psychosocial oncology and supportive care.
2008 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 17, no 5, 430-437 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of cancer-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among parents of children on cancer treatment. A longitudinal design with assessments at one week (T1), two (T2), and four (T3) months after the child's diagnosis was used. Two hundred and fourteen parents (107 mothers, 107 fathers) participated at T1-T3. The PTSD Checklist Civilian (PCL-C), a self-report screening instrument for PTSD, was answered by parents over the telephone. According to the PCL-C symptom criteria method 33%, more mothers than fathers, score as potential cases of acute stress disorder (ASD) at T1, whereas 28% as potential cases of PTSD at T2 and 22% at T3. The levels of acute- and posttraumatic stress symptoms show a linear, descending pattern, and mothers report higher levels than fathers. Half of the parents who score as potential cases of ASD a week after the child's diagnosis score as potential cases of PTSD four months later. The findings illustrate that a group of parents of children with cancer experience serious psychological distress related to their child's disease. A traumatic stress perspective on childhood cancer should be applied to paediatric oncology care and appropriate psychosocial interventions should be offered to parents when needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 17, no 5, 430-437 p.
Keyword [en]
parents, cancer, posttraumatic stress, childhood cancer, oncology
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-15906DOI: 10.1002/pon.1263ISI: 000256463200002PubMedID: 17847123OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-15906DiVA: diva2:43677
Available from: 2008-09-01 Created: 2008-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Posttraumatic stress among parents of children on cancer treatment: support, care and distress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Posttraumatic stress among parents of children on cancer treatment: support, care and distress
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this thesis was to longitudinally investigate the potential occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among parents of children on cancer treatment (Study I). Additional aims were to describe parents’ perceptions of emotional support and satisfaction with the child’s care (II), perceptions of the child’s symptom burden (III), and parents’ stories about having a child on cancer treatment (IV). The design was prospective, longitudinal, and data was collected at: one week, two months, and four months after the child’s diagnosis and one week/six months after the end of successful treatment/transplantation. Parents (N=259) were consecutively included during the years 2002-2004 and answered questionnaires and open-ended questions over the telephone. Parenting a child with cancer is a very demanding, potentially traumatic, event. Approximately a fourth of the parents report symptoms corresponding to PTSD. The symptom level is related to being a mother, not working before the child’s diagnosis, and to previous trauma experience. Less than half of those who report a need to talk with a psychologist report having had the opportunity to do so. Parents are generally satisfied with the care and report the highest satisfaction with the technical care. Emotional distress, fatigue, nutrition, and pain are, according to parents, the most problematic symptom areas for their children. Pain is identified as especially problematic. Parents in paediatric oncology care should be acknowledged as potential care-recipients. In order to prevent development of PTSD parents of children on cancer treatment should be supported to maintain an ordinary life, for example pursue work and/or activities, and to get sufficient rest. As a means towards this parents need help with e.g. household duties and childcare. In addition to this, parents in approximately two fifths of the families need extended psychosocial support aiming at reducing posttraumatic stress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 56 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 354
Keyword
Caring sciences, posttraumatic stress, PTSD, symptoms, emotional support, satisfaction, childhood cancer, parents, Vårdvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8745 (URN)978-91-554-7204-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-05-28, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-05-06 Created: 2008-05-06 Last updated: 2009-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Pöder, Ulrikavon Essen, Louise

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