Self-injury in Teenagers Who Lost a Parent to Cancer A Nationwide, Population-Based, Long-term Follow-up
02/2013; 167(2):133-40. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.430
OBJECTIVE To investigate the risk of self-injury in parentally cancer-bereaved youth compared with their nonbereaved peers. DESIGN Population-based study of cancer-bereaved youth and a random sample of matched population controls. SETTING Sweden in 2009 and 2010. PARTICIPANTS A total of 952 youth (74.8%) confirmed to be eligible for the study returned the questionnaire: 622 (73.1%) of 851 eligible young adults who lost a parent to cancer between the ages of 13 and 16 years, in 2000 to 2003, and 330 (78.4%) of 451 nonbereaved peers. MAIN EXPOSURE Cancer bereavement or nonbreavement during the teenage years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of self-injury after January 1, 2000. RESULTS Among cancer-bereaved youth, 120 (19.5%) reported self-injury compared with 35 (10.6%) of their nonbereaved peers, yielding an OR of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.4-3.0). After controlling for potential confounding factors in childhood (eg, having engaged in self-destructive behavior, having been bullied, having been sexually or physically abused, having no one to share joys and sorrows with, and sex), the adjusted OR was 2.3 (95% CI, 1.4-3.7). The OR for suicide attempts was 1.6 (95% CI, 0.8-3.0). CONCLUSIONS One-fifth of cancer-bereaved youth reported self-injury, representing twice the odds for self-injury in their nonbereaved peers, regardless of any of the adjustments we made. Raised awareness on a broad basis in health care and allied disciplines would enable identification and support provision to this vulnerable group.
Available from: jco.ascopubs.org
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSETo assess children's trust in the care provided to a dying parent during the final week of life in relation to end-of-life medical information about disease, treatment, and death. METHODS
This nationwide population-based survey included 622 (73%) of 851 youths who, 6 to 9 years earlier, at age 13 to 16 years, lost a parent to cancer. We asked about the children's reception of end-of-life professional information and trust in the care provided. We also asked about depression and several potential risk factors of distrust in the care provided.ResultsA majority (82%) reported moderate/very much trust in the care provided. Compared with children who received end-of-life medical information before their loss, the risk of distrust in the care provided was higher in those who received no information (risk ratio [RR], 2.5; 95% CI, 1.5 to 4.1), in those who only received information afterward (RR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.7 to 5.9), and in those who did not know or remember if end-of-life medical information was provided (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.5). Those reporting distrust in the care provided had an RR of 2.3 (95% CI, 1.5 to 3.5) for depression. Furthermore, the risk of distrust in the care provided was higher among children reporting poor efforts to cure (RR, 5.1; 95% CI, 3.6 to 7.3), and/or a poor relationship with the surviving parent (RR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.0 to 4.1). CONCLUSION
Our study suggests that children's trust in the care provided to a dying parent was highest when they received end-of-life medical information before their loss.
Available from: Mogens Vestergaard
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Bereavement by spousal death and child death in adulthood has been shown to lead to an increased risk of mortality. Maternal death in infancy or parental death in early childhood may have an impact on mortality but evidence has been limited to short-term or selected causes of death. Little is known about long-term or cause-specific mortality after parental death in childhood.
Methods and findings:
This cohort study included all persons born in Denmark from 1968 to 2008 (n = 2,789,807) and in Sweden from 1973 to 2006 (n = 3,380,301), and a random sample of 89.3% of all born in Finland from 1987 to 2007 (n = 1,131,905). A total of 189,094 persons were included in the exposed cohort when they lost a parent before 18 years old. Log-linear Poisson regression was used to estimate mortality rate ratio (MRR). Parental death was associated with a 50% increased all-cause mortality (MRR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.43-1.58). The risks were increased for most specific cause groups and the highest MRRs were observed when the cause of child death and the cause of parental death were in the same category. Parental unnatural death was associated with a higher mortality risk (MRR = 1.84, 95% CI 1.71-2.00) than parental natural death (MRR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.24-1.41). The magnitude of the associations varied according to type of death and age at bereavement over different follow-up periods. The main limitation of the study is the lack of data on post-bereavement information on the quality of the parent-child relationship, lifestyles, and common physical environment.
Parental death in childhood or adolescence is associated with increased all-cause mortality into early adulthood. Since an increased mortality reflects both genetic susceptibility and long-term impacts of parental death on health and social well-being, our findings have implications in clinical responses and public health strategies. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
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The purpose of this study is to test whether maternal deceased organ donation is associated with rates of subsequent acute injuries among surviving children after their mother's death.
This is a longitudinal cohort analysis of children linked to mothers who died of a catastrophic brain event in Ontario, Canada, between April 1988 and March 2012. Surviving children were distinguished by whether their mother was an organ donor after death. The primary outcome was an acute injury event in surviving children during the year after their mother's death.
Surviving children (n=454) had a total of 293 injury events during the year after their mother's death, equivalent to an average of 65 events per 100 children per year and a significant difference comparing children of mothers who were organ donors to children of mothers who were not organ donors (21 vs 82, P<.001). This difference in subsequent injury rates between groups was equal to a 76% relative reduction in risk (95% confidence interval, 62%-85%).
Deceased organ donation was associated with a reduction in excess acute injuries among surviving children after their mother's death. An awareness of this positive association provides some reassurance about deceased organ donation programs.
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