Stress and coping strategies in parents with cancer children

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Stress and coping strategies in parents with cancer children


Author: Chiu, Sau-ying
Title: Stress and coping strategies in parents with cancer children
Year: 2001
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Parents of chronically ill children
Stress (Psychology)
Tumors in children
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: v, 78, [14] leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The parents who care for their young children with cancer are very stressful. The purposes of this study was to The stress level, and coping strategies of those parents were measured by self-administered structured questionnaires. Eighty parents of cancer children and thirty mothers (control) of health children were recruited by convenience sampling. The result provided information on the characteristic of the stress level and coping strategies in those parents. Parents of cancer children reported significantly higher stress level, poorer psychological well being than the control group (GHQ, F=12.48, p<0.000; somatic acute problem, F=9.4, p<0.000; GARS, F=6.68, p=0.02; PIL, F=4.53, p=0.014). The problem persisted even after their children had finished the treatment, and decreases gradually with times. Those parents adopted frequently with coping strategies of mobilization of personal resource and philosophy of doing nothing. They seldom seek help from the social resource, and indeed was not a very adaptive method of coping. They mainly relied on the support from spouse, health professional and other parents. But they were less willing to seek help from the psychosocial professionals, relative and friends. When comparing fathers and mothers whose children with cancer undergone treatment, fathers did not have significant difference in the acute stress. Fathers used significantly more reliance on self than the mothers to handle the stress of the child's illness (t=-2.29, p=0.026). The result provides some insight for health care professional to deliver the psychosocial care to the parents with cancer children. Nurses have an important role to promote the mental health to those parents, to work with those stressful parents. Spousal support and parents support group should be strengthened as a resource to benefit the parents.

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