Aims: To investigate the presence of severe Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) and their related factors among parents of childhood cancer who were in transition from inpatient to outpatient settings.
Methods: Mothers (N=46) and fathers (N=45) of 46 children diagnosed with cancer completed questionnaires. Disease status of patients were in remission at the time of investigation. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), the Family Assessment Device (FAD), the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to assess PTSS, family functioning, depression, and anxiety. We also assessed medical and demographic variables.
Results: Descriptive statistics, univariate analysis, and multivariate logictic regression analysis were performed to examine related factor of severe PTSS. Forty-eight percent (N=22) of mothers and 34% (N=15) of fathers had an IES-R score ≥ 25, indicating the presence of severe PTSS. Results of univariate analysis indicated that higher state (p<0.01) and trait (p<0.01) anxiety, and depression (p=0.01) were significant related factors of severe PTSS for mothers. And lower rating of “emotional involvement” in family functioning (p=0.10). For fathers, higher depression (p<0.01), state anxiety (p<0.01), trait anxiety (p<0.01), and were detected. We found mothers’ state anxiety (p=0.02) was related factors using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Conclusion: Mothers and fathers who have learned that their child has cancer experience high rates of severe posttraumatic symptoms even the cancer is in remission.Although preliminary analysis, parents who are more generally anxious are more likely to experience severe PTSS than less anxious parents. Family functioning was important factor especially for mothers during transitional period from inpatient to outpatient settings.