[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a very distressing experience for children and requires a special effort of adjustment. Therefore, it seems to be crucial to explore coping resources for the experienced risk condition. In this sense, the study focuses on coping strategies and locus of control in children with ALL during the treatment phase, and on their possible relation. The correlation between children and maternal coping strategies is also investigated. The participants involved were an experimental group of 40 children with ALL and their mothers, and 30 healthy children as the control group. The tools used were: the Child Behavioral Style Scale and the Monitor-Blunter Style Scale to assess the coping strategies of children and mothers; the locus of Control Scale for Children to analyze the children's perception of controlling the events. Both children with ALL and their mothers resorted to monitoring coping strategies with a statistically significant rate of occurrence (children: M=17.8, SD=3.8; mothers: M=10.48, SD=3.4). The data concerning the locus of control show this tendency towards internal causes (M=53.1, SD=4.7). There were statistically significant correlations between monitoring coping strategies and external locus of control (r=0.400, P<0.05). The results gained from the control group are almost equivalent. The outcomes show several interesting resources of the psychological functioning of children as well as of their mothers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study investigated the correlation between the perception of sibling relationship to cope an adverse occurrence – the partial collapse of a primary school – and the indicators related to the traumatic impact set off by the event, by soliciting the child’s reminiscence of the catastrophic experience.
One hundred trauma-exposed children were recruited from a Sicilian primary school and were administered the following research instruments: the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC-A), to investigate the traumatized response that can be triggered in the children involved; the Brother as a Resource Questionnaire (BRQ), to delve into the perception of sibling relationship as a resource.
The outcomes showed statistically significant negative correlations between the Anxiety scale of the TSCC-A and the Scaffolding factors (r = −.260, p < .05) and Decision making process (r = −.315, p < 05) of the BRQ; between the Depression scale and the Scaffolding factors (r = −.147, p < .05), Emotional sharing (r = −.168, p < .05) and Decision making process (r = −.281, p < .05). The Anger scale correlated negatively with the Emotional sharing (r = −187, p < .05), the Decision making process (r = −.182, p < .05) and the Scaffolding factors (r = −.279, p < .05); the Post-traumatic Stress correlated negatively with the Scaffolding factors (r = −.203, p < .05) and the Decision making process (r = −.238, p < .05). Lastly, the Dissociation correlated negatively with the Decision making process (r = −.270, p < .05).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study was aimed at obtaining knowledge about mothers' experiences of preterm birth. The objective of the study is to explore coping strategies and self- perceived parental competence, in mothers of infant born moderately and severely preterm and admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The study involved a group of 16 mothers of moderately preterm children (weeks' gestational age: mean=34, SD=2 and birth weight: mean=2000 g, SD=200 g) and a group of 14 mothers of severely preterm children (weeks' gestational age: mean=29, SD=2 and birth weight: mean=1700 g, SD=350 g). The following instruments were used with mothers to investigate focus areas of research: Coping Orientation to the Problems Experienced-New Italian Version (COPE-NVI), to analyse coping strategies of mothers, and a Q-sort, a self report on maternal competence.
Data did not show statistically significant differences between the two groups of mothers, both in regard to considered coping strategies (social support, avoidance, problem focused orientation, transcendent orientation, positive aptitude), and the indicators of maternal self-perceived competence (coping, scaffolding, caregiving) (Mann-Whitney U test(n1=16 and n2=14)>0.05).
This study, highlighting the lack of differences between the two groups of mothers involved, seems to point out that, beyond the levels of prematurity, the condition of preterm birth itself is precisely the main stressor factor for mothers.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Minerva pediatrica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Propranolol is recommended for prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in cirrhosis. Carvedilol is a nonselective beta-blocker with a mild anti-alfa-1-adrenergic activity. Several studies have compared carvedilol and propranolol, yielding inconsistent results.
To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomised clinical trials comparing carvedilol with propranolol for hepatic vein pressure gradient reduction.
Studies were searched on the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane library databases up to November 2013. The weighted mean difference in percent hepatic vein pressure gradient reduction and the relative risk of failure to achieve a hemodynamic response (reduction ≥20% of baseline or to ≤12 mmHg) with each drug were used as measures of treatment efficacy.
Five studies (175 patients) were included. Indication to treatment was primary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in 76% of patients. There were overall three acute (60-90 min after drug administration) and three long-term (after 7-90 days of therapy) comparisons. The summary mean weighted difference in % of reduction in hepatic vein pressure gradient was: acute -7.70 (CI -12.40, -3.00), long-term -6.81 (CI -11.35, -2.26), overall -7.24 (CI -10.50, -3.97), favouring carvedilol. The summary relative risk of failure to achieve a hemodynamic response with carvedilol was 0.66 (CI 0.44, 1.00). Adverse events were nonsignificantly more frequent and serious with carvedilol. However, quality of trials was mostly unsatisfactory.
Carvedilol reduces portal hypertension significantly more than propranolol. However, available data do not allow a satisfactory comparison of adverse events. These results suggest a potential for a cautious clinical use.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Moderately preterm birth seems to be an evolutional risk condition at cognitive, behavioural and socio-relational levels. The study is aimed to investigate the likely occurrence of precursors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in moderately preterm children at preschool age.
The research involved an experimental group made up of 50 moderately preterm children (mean: 34.6 weeks’ gestational age, standard deviation [SD]: 2) without any medical and neurologic neonatal complications and low birth weight (mean:2100g., SD: 350g.) and a check group of 50 full term born children. Parents and teachers of children were administered specific questionnaires to detect ADHD.
The outcomes show a risk of ADHD highlighting statically significant differences related to gender [F(2, 99) = 2.99, p = .04], birth [F(2, 99) = 9.6, p = .03] and interaction [F(2, 99) = 2.2, p = .01]. The moderately preterm children showed deficit in self-regulation [F(2, 99) = 1.14, p = .04] and attention deficit in daily life both in family [F(2, 99) = 7.8, p = .04] and school contexts [F(1, 99) = 3.3, p = .04].
The outcomes hint assessment paths aimed to monitor the aspects of cognitive, motor, behavioural development of moderately preterm children recognised as signs of problematic functioning profiles. Therefore, specific training will have been designed since preschool age in order to control the ADHD risk factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study investigates the preschool readiness of moderately preterm children and, in particular, the likely presence of learning disabilities at preschool age. Its theoretical model detects linguistic comprehension and expression; memory-related metacognition and cognition skills; orientation and motor coordination skills; premathematics and preliteracy ones. The research project involved an experimental group made up of 55 moderately preterm children (mean age = 62 months, mean gestational age = 34.6 weeks), without any clinical neonatal complications, and low birth weight (M = 2,100 g, SD = 350 g); a control group made up of 55 full-term children without pre- and perinatal complications. The children’s primary school reference teachers were given a questionnaire (Observative Questionnaire for Early Identification of Learning Disabilities), which was aimed at identifying any likely social and cognitive skill deficits at preschool age. The data, submitted to nonparametric univariate variance, show how scores of moderately preterm children in the metacognition [U
(n1 e n2 = 55) = 35, p = 0.04, r = 0.49] are statistically lower, other cognitive skills (memory, orientation, and visual–motor coordination) [U
(n1 e n2 = 55) = 32, p = 0.02, r = 0.45], premathematics [U
(n1 e n2 = 55) = 32, p = 0.02, r = 0.44], and the total score [U
(n1 e n2 = 55) = 31, p = 0.02, r = 0.12]. Such data would seem to suggest the need for hypothesizing preventive training and educational paths as a prerequisite for the development of the school abilities.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · European Journal of Psychology of Education
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The low attention and hyperactivity are major morbidities associated with very and moderately preterm birth. The study has been aimed at investigating the likely occurrence of early precursors of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in very and moderately preterm children at preschool age. The involved children were: 25 very preterm children (M=29.4 weeks of gestational age, SD=2), with low birth weight (M=1200 g, SD=250 g); 35 moderately preterm children (M=34.6 weeks of gestational age, SD=1) with low birth weight (M=2100 g, SD=250 g); 60 healthy full-term children as the control group. Parents of children have been administered specific questionnaires to detect low attention and hyperactivity of their children at home. The data have shown the risk of precursors of ADHD, highlighting statistically significant birth-related differences in both hyperactivity/impulsivity [F(2,119)=3.5, P=0.03, η(2)=0.06] and inattention [F(2,119)=2.4, P=0.04, η(2)=0.04], where very preterm children have got higher scores in these two dimensions compared with full-term and moderately preterm children. The very preterm children have got higher scores of impulsivity and inattention than the full-term children (Tukey'HSD - Honestly Significant Difference; P<0.001).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A child's oncological or chronic disease is a stressful situation for parents. This stress may make it difficult for appropriate management strategies aimed at promoting the child's wellbeing and helping him or her cope with a disease to be adopted. In particular, this study focuses on the possible connections between the variable national cultural influences and the parental strategies used to cope with a child's severe disease by comparing the experiences of Italian and Portuguese mothers. The study investigates differences and cross-cultural elements among the coping strategies used by Italian and Portuguese mothers of children with oncological or chronic disease. Two groups of mothers took part: 59 Italian mothers (average age 37.7 years; SD=4.5) and 36 Portuguese mothers (average age 39.3 years; SD=4.6). The tool used was the Italian and the Portuguese versions of the COPE inventory that measures five coping strategies: Social Support, Avoidance Coping, Positive Aptitude, Religious Faith and Humor, Active Coping. There were statistically significant differences between Portuguese and Italian mothers regarding Social Support (F(3, 94)=6.32, P=0.014, ɳ(2)=0.065), Religious Faith and Humor (F(3, 94)=20.06, P=0.001, ɳ(2)=0.18, higher values for Portuguese mothers) and Avoidance Coping (F(3, 94)=3.30, P=0.06, ɳ(2)=0.035, higher values for Italian mothers). Regarding child's disease, the only statistically significant difference was in Religious Faith and Humor (F(3, 94)=7.49, P=0.007, ɳ(2)=0.076, higher values for mothers of children with chronic disease). The findings of specific cultural transversalities provide the basis for reflection on important factors emerging on the relationship between physicians and parents. In fact, mothers' coping abilities may allow health workers involved in a child's care not only to understand how parents face a distressful event, but also to provide them with professional support.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Pediatric reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Child development may be subject to forms of motor, physical, cognitive and self-representation impairments when complex congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs. In some cases, inadequacy of both self-representation as well as the family system are displayed. It seems to be important to search the likely internal and external resources of the CHD child, and the possible connections among such resources, which may help him/her to manage his/her own risk condition. The research project inquires the possible resources related to the self-representation and self-esteem levels of the CHD child, and those related to maternal self-perception as competent mothers. A group of 25 children (mean age = 10.2; SD=1.8) suffering from specific forms of CHD, and a group made up of their relative mothers (mean age = 38.2; SD=5) were studied. The tools used were the Human Figure Drawing, to investigate child body-related self-representation; the TMA scale (Self-esteem Multidimensional Test), to investigate the child's self-esteem; and the Q-sort questionnaire, to assess how mothers perceived their maternal competence. Data concerning the likely correlations between the child's self-representation and the maternal role competence show [that] positive correlations between some indicators of maternal competence, specific aspects of CHD children's self-representation (mothers' emotional coping and children's self-image adequacy) and self-esteem (mothers' emotional scaffolding and children's self-esteem at an emotional level). By detecting the occurrence of specific correlations among resources of both child and mother, the study provides cardiologists with information that is useful for building a relationship with the families concerned, which would seem to enhance the quality of the process of the cure itself.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Pediatric reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study focused on correlations between mothers' coping strategies of children suffering from tumor, during the treatment phase, and the perception of their own family functioning in terms of cohesion and adaptability. The research verified that a virtuous connection between the variables represents an important resource for the mothers. The study was performed within a group of 34 mothers of children suffering from tumor, during the treatment phase. The instruments were the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced-New Italian Version (COPE-NVI), to investigate coping strategies, and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES III), to analyze perception of family functioning. There were statistically positive correlations between family cohesion and orientation toward problem (r =.49, p 0.05) and family adaptability and orientation toward problem (r = 0.36, p 0.01); and statistically negative correlations between adaptability and transcendent orientation (r =-0.40, p 0.01).
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Psicologia della Salute
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Standard chemotherapy is increasingly discontinued after successful “induction” in patients (pts) undergoing 1st line treatment for mCRC. MGN1703 is a synthetic DNA-based immunomodulator acting as an agonist of TLR-9 that has shown preclinical
activity in mCRC. This study has been conducted to assess clinical efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of MGN1703 as maintenance
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study focuses on parents' psychological implications caused by the treatment of their children suffering from tumor. It investigates some specific mothers' resource factors such as their strategies of coping and the perception of their own family functioning in terms of cohesion and adaptability. The study was performed with 34 mothers of children suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), during the treatment phase. The used tools were the Coping Orientation to Problem Experienced-New Italian Version, to investigate coping strategies, and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale-III, to analyze both real and ideal perception of family functioning. The data related to coping, show how the involved mothers tend to mainly use the strategies of positive aptitude, orientation toward problem and social support (F = 99.88, df = 4, P < .01). The family functioning, in terms of adaptability, is described as chaotic relating to both the real (χ(2) = 13.29, df = 3, P = .004) and ideal (χ(2) = 11.52, df = 2, P = .003) family, whereas in terms of cohesion, it is perceived as chiefly disengaged in the real family (χ(2) = 12.3, df = 3, P = .006) and as enmeshed in the ideal one (χ(2) = 12.58, df = 3, P = .006). Statistically positive correlations were only detected between adaptability and avoidance (r = 0.49, P < .01); adaptability and orientation toward problem (r = 0.36, P < .05); and adaptability and transcendent orientation (r = -0.04, P < .05). Despite the critical situation, the mothers have shown optimistic view, care for problem management and capability to ask for help. These coping strategies allow the therapeutic alliance between families and health care workers, so useful for the quality of childcare.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study deals with the characteristics of temperament of preterm infants during their preschool age in order to not only investigate likely "difficult or problematic profiles", guided by impairments driven by their preterm birth, but also to provide guidelines for the activation of interventions of prevention, functional to improve the quality of preterm infant's life.
The study involved a group of 105 children where 50 preterm children at the average age of 5 years and 2 months, enrolled in preschools of Palermo. The research planned the child reference teachers to be administered a specific questionnaire, the QUIT, made up of 60 items investigating six specific typical dimensions of temperament (Motor control activity - related to the ability of practicing motor control activity; Attention - related to the ability of guiding and keeping the focus of attention on a certain stimulus; Inhibition to novelty - regarding with emotional reactivity in front of environmental stimuli; Social orientation - meant in terms of attention and interest towards social stimuli; Positive and negative emotionality - regarding the tendency to mainly express positive or negative emotions.
The results show in general how preschool-aged preterm infants, identified by such a study, compared with full-term children, are characterized by "normal" temperament based on a strong inclination and orientation in mainly expressing positive feelings. Yet, an impairment of the areas most relating to attention and motor control activity seems to emerge.
The data suggest specific interventions for preterm infant development and their reference systems and, at the same time, can guide paediatrician and neonatologist dealing with preterm infants, in focalizing and monitoring, even since health status assessments, specific areas of development that, since preschool age, can highlight the presence of real forerunners of maladjustments and likely configurations of cognitive, emotional or behaviour disadaptive functioning.
Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Italian Journal of Pediatrics