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Parenting an Adolescent with Chronic Pain: An Investigation of How a Taxonomy of Adolescent Functioning Relates to Parent Distress

Publication year
Cohen, L. L.; Vowles, K. E.; Eccleston, C.

OBJECTIVE: Cluster analyses allow health professionals to classify adolescents with chronic pain into subgroups, which might allow efficient tailoring of treatment. Given the nature of family relationships when a child has chronic pain, we aimed to evaluate whether an adolescent-disability-derived cluster formula would appropriately classify their parents via parenting stress, anxiety, and depression. METHODS: A patient-report data-derived cluster formula sorted 204 parents of adolescents with chronic pain into 4 groups. Parents completed measures of distress, anxiety, and depression. RESULTS: The 4-group solution generally sorted parents accurately, with parents of the least disabled adolescents functioning well and parents of the most disabled adolescents reporting clinically significant levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest the patient-derived 4-group cluster solution might be an efficient method of distinguishing subgroups of parents with varying levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, which can be used to guide family-oriented treatment efforts.

Research abstracts