Article

Psychological adjustment of parents of pediatric cancer patients revisited: five years later.

Psychosocial Services, University Medical Center Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands.
Psycho-Oncology (Impact Factor: 3.51). 02/2006; 15(1):1-8. DOI: 10.1002/pon.927
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the psychological functioning of parents of children suffering from pediatric cancer using a prospective design over a five-year time period. Parents of children diagnosed with cancer participated at diagnosis (T1), six months (T2), twelve months (T3), and five years later (T4, n = 115). Repeated measures ANOVAs were calculated for the three measures of psychological distress (GHQ, SCL-90 and STAI-S) to examine changes over time and gender differences. Independent T-tests were computed to examine differences between the mean scores of the parents at T4 and the norm groups. The effects of health status and earlier levels of distress on T4 functioning were examined using ANOVA and partial correlational analysis. Results showed that levels of reported distress, psychoneurotic symptoms and state anxiety significantly decreased across time to normal levels at T4 except on the GHQ. A significantly higher percentage of parents (27%) than in the norm group (15%) showed clinically elevated scores on the GHQ. Mothers had higher scores than fathers only on state anxiety. Parents of relapsed children reported higher anxiety levels than parents of surviving and deceased children. Psychological functioning at T1 was significantly related to functioning at T4. These results support the conclusion that although parental distress decreases with time, a significant number of parents still suffer from clinical distress after five years. Parents of relapsed children are at risk for long-term psychological problems as are those with higher levels of psychosomatic complaints at diagnosis.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
124 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim was to investigate the influence of parents' negative mood state and parenting stress on behavior in children with newly diagnosed cancer. A total of 123 parents (n = 58 fathers, n = 65 mothers) of 67 children with newly diagnosed cancer completed three questionnaires separately at the same time measuring parents' negative mood state, parenting stress, and child behavior problems. Parents' negative mood state was weakly correlated to more child behavior problems (r = 0.31, p < 0.01), and higher levels of parenting stress were strongly correlated to more child behavior problems (r = 0.61, p < 0.01). Mediation analyses indicated that the relationship between parents' negative mood state and child behavior problems (c = 0.29, p = 0.02 (fathers); c = 0.25, p = 0.04 (mothers)) became non-significant after mediating for parenting stress (c' = 0.003, p = 0.98 (fathers); c' = 0.10, p = 0.42 (mothers)). The indirect effect of parents' negative mood state and child behavior problems was only significant for fathers (95% CI [0.12; 0.51]), indicating that parenting stress mediates the effect between fathers' negative mood state and child behavior problems. This is the first study to demonstrate the mediational role of parenting stress in fathers of a child with newly diagnosed cancer. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Psycho-Oncology 01/2014; · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increasing survival rates in childhood cancer have yielded a growing population of parents of childhood cancer survivors (CCSs). This systematic review compiles the literature on positive and negative long-term psychological late effects for parents of CCSs, reported at least five years after the child's diagnosis and/or two years after the end of the child's treatment. Systematic searches were made in the databases CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Fifteen studies, published between 1988 and 2010, from 12 projects were included. Thirteen studies used quantitative methodology, one quantitative and qualitative methodology, and one qualitative methodology. A total of 1045 parents participated in the reviewed studies. Mean scores were within normal ranges for general psychological distress, coping, and family functioning. However, a substantial subgroup reported a clinical level of general psychological distress, and 21-44% reported a severe level of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Worry, disease-related thoughts and feelings, marital strains, as well as posttraumatic growth was reported. Several factors were associated with the long-term late effects, such as parents' maladaptive coping during earlier stages of the childs disease trajectory and children's current poor adjustment. Quality assessments of reviewed studies and clinical implications of findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are presented.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e103340. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Parents of children with cancer experience a challenging situation in coping with the child's diagnosis and changes that the illness puts in the overall family condition. Method: A cross-sectional study on 79 parents was conducted in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Socio-demographic information was obtained. Participants completed a set questionnaire measuring their level of anxiety and stress, knowledge about cancer, and amount of activities they perform with or for the child to enhance the child's coping abilities. Children's psychological problems were also assessed through parental reports. Results: Parents with higher cancer knowledge reported reduced stress (p<0.01) and anxiety (p<0.05). The higher the income (p<0.05) and education (p<0.01), the higher cancer knowledge. Parental stress was negatively correlated with income (p<0.05) and education (p<0.01), indicating that the better educated and higher the salary, less stress symptoms. Highly educated parents engaged in more activities with their children (p<0.05).Parental anxiety was correlated significantly with children's current treatment including chemotherapy procedure (p<0.01), 'In-patient' Vs 'Outpatient' (p<0.01), and children's condition (p<0.01). Parents of hospitalized children who underwent chemotherapy were significantly more anxious than their counterparts. Parents who perceived their children's current condition as 'very good', reported reduced anxiety, compared to those who reported their child's condition as 'ok'. The more psychological problems the children had, the higher parental anxiety (p<0.05) and stress symptoms (p<0.01). Discussion: Some groups of parents had more psychological difficulties compared to others. Ongoing psychological assessment and intervention may reduce parental stress by increasing coping and reducing children psychological problems.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
147 Downloads
Available from
May 31, 2014