The impact of childhood cancer on parental separation, divorce, and family planning in Denmark.

Mader, Luzius; Hargreave, Marie; Frederiksen, Line Elmerdahl; Bidstrup, Pernille Envold; Dalton, Susanne Oksbjerg; Kjaer, Susanne K; Nielsen, Thomas Tjørnelund; Kroyer, Anja; Winther, Jeanette Falck; Erdmann, Friederike (2020). The impact of childhood cancer on parental separation, divorce, and family planning in Denmark. Cancer, 126(14), pp. 3330-3340. John Wiley & Sons 10.1002/cncr.32901

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BACKGROUND Childhood cancer is a devastating experience for the family. The objective of the current study was to assess the impact of having a child with cancer on parental separation, divorce, and future family planning among families residing in Denmark. METHODS The authors conducted a nationwide cohort study using Danish registry data. Parents of children diagnosed with cancer between 1982 and 2014 (7066 children and 12,418 case parents) were matched with 10 comparison parents of cancer-free children per case parent (69,993 children and 125,014 comparison parents). We used discrete-time Cox regression models to compare the risk of separation (end of cohabitation) and divorce between case and comparison parents, and to identify risk factors for separation and divorce among case parents only. Descriptive statistics were used to compare family planning between case and comparison parents. RESULTS Case parents were found to have a slightly lower risk of separation (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.93-0.99) and divorce (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.97) than comparison parents. The authors found that case parents who were aged <45 years, with short education (an International Standard Classification of Education code indicating early childhood education, primary education, and lower secondary education), and who were unemployed were at an increased risk of separation and divorce. Moreover, the parents of children diagnosed with cancer at a young age (aged <15 years) were more likely to separate or divorce. No differences with regard to the total number of children and time to a next child after the cancer diagnosis were observed between case and comparison parents. CONCLUSIONS Having a child with cancer was not associated with an overall adverse impact on parents' risk of separation or divorce and future family planning. These encouraging findings should be communicated to parents to support them along their child's cancer trajectory.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Mader, Luzius Adrian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

0008-543X

Publisher:

John Wiley & Sons

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2020 11:29

Last Modified:

02 Jul 2020 06:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/cncr.32901

PubMed ID:

32449155

Uncontrolled Keywords:

childhood cancer cohort divorce family parents registry separation

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144498

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144498

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