Post-traumatic stress in parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors compared to parents of the Swiss general population

Baenziger, Julia; Roser, Katharina; Mader, Luzius; Harju, Erika; Ansari, Marc; Waespe, Nicolas; Scheinemann, Katrin; Michel, Gisela (2020). Post-traumatic stress in parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors compared to parents of the Swiss general population. Journal of psychosocial oncology research and practice, 2(3), e024. Wolters Kluwer Health 10.1097/OR9.0000000000000024

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Background:

We describe post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors (CCS-parents) and compare them to parents of similar-aged children (comparison-parents) of the Swiss general population (SGP). We compare type of reported stressful event, prevalence of PTSS and PTSD, and psychosocial and cancer-related characteristics associated with PTSS. We further describe the respective normative data for the SGP.

Methods:

We conducted a nationwide cross-sectional questionnaire survey in a population-based sample of long-term CCS-parents (survivors aged ≤16 years at diagnosis, ≥20 years at study, >5 years post-diagnosis) and in the SGP. Using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, we measured PTSS regarding the most stressful event experienced, and computed probable cases of PTSD.

Results:

Participants included 663 CCS-parents (39.4% fathers) and 1035 individuals of the SGP (40.0% male), of which we identified 391 comparison-parents (41.2% fathers). Illness was most often indicated as stressful event (CCS-parents: 49.5%, comparison-parents: 27.6%, SGP: 25.3%). Prevalence of PTSS and PTSD (CCS-parents: 4.8%, comparison-parents: 6.7%, SGP: 5.6%) did not significantly differ. Lower education was associated with higher intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal in all samples (all P ≤ .003). Parents of children with a chronic illness reported higher intrusion (all P ≤ .004). We found no associations with cancer-related characteristics.

Conclusions:

No increased risk for PTSS or PTSD was found among CCS-parents. Individuals with lower education and those with a chronically ill child might benefit from additional support to help manage and resolve the stress symptoms in the long term.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Wäspe Laredo, Nicolas Thomas

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

2637-5974

Publisher:

Wolters Kluwer Health

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2020 09:51

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2021 18:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1097/OR9.0000000000000024

PubMed ID:

32832904

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145683

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145683

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