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[Parental Distress Caused by Child’s Cancer Diagnosis]

Journal title
Klinische Padiatrie
Publication year
Dietrich, K.; Leiss, U.; Griessmeier, B.; Wiener, A.; Minetzke-Gruner, A. C.; Linhart, D.; Braungart, R.; Graf, N.; Wevers-Donauer, G.

INTRODUCTION: Considering that parental well-being influences the healing process of a child significantly, the relevance of psychosocial care of parents with children with cancer is obvious. Since the parental distress has hardly been studied in Germany, this study examines the burdens of parents of children with cancer. In addition, it provides a diagnostic tool that is used to standardize and facilitate the whole patient management. METHODS: n=213 parents have participated in the survey scheduled from September 2013 to September 2014 in pediatric oncology centers. The examination of parental distress was based on five burdens (namely "depression", "anxiety", "somatization", "posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)" and "obsessive-compulsive"). Moreover, confirmatory factor analyzes were calculated which form the basis of the tools. RESULTS: 42% of parents show above-average depression scores (z>1), 56,7% above-average anxiety scores, 30,6% above-average obsessive-compulsive scores, 17,4% above-average PTSD scores and 25,9% above-average somatization scores. The confirmatory factor analyzes provide evidence for a dimensional factor model and a second-order factor model. DISCUSSION: The results show that parents of children with cancer in Germany represent a risk group in terms of developing their own mental health problems.

Research abstracts