Impact of Prior Traumatic Life Events on Parental Early Stage Reactions following a Childs CancerReportar como inadecuado

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In pediatric oncology, effective clinic–based management of acute and long–term distress in families calls for investigation of determinants of parents- psychological response to the child-s cancer. We examined the relationship between parents- prior exposure to traumatic life events TLE and the occurrence of posttraumatic stress symptoms PTSS following their child-s cancer diagnosis. Factors mediating the TLE–PTSS relationship were analyzed.


The study comprised 169 parents 97 mothers, 72 fathers of 103 cancer diagnosed children median age: 5,9 years; range 0.1–19.7 years. Thirty five parents were of immigrant origin 20.7%. Prior TLE were collated using a standardized questionnaire, PTSS was assessed using the Impact of Events–Revised IES–R questionnaire covering intrusion, avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms. The predictive significance of prior TLE on PTSS was tested in adjusted regression models.


Mothers demonstrated more severe PTSS across all symptom dimensions. TLE were associated with significantly increased hyperarousal symptoms. Parents- gender, age and immigrant status did not significantly influence the TLE–PTSS relationship.


Prior traumatic life–events aggravate posttraumatic hyperarousal symptoms. In clinic–based psychological care of parents of high–risk pediatric patients, attention needs to be paid to life history, and to heightened vulnerability to PTSS associated with female gender.

Autor: Krister K. Boman , Ylva Kjällander, Staffan Eksborg, Jeremy Becker



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