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Bereavement stressors and psychosocial well-being of young adults following the loss of a parent: A cross-sectional survey
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences, Palliative Research Centre, PRC. Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet, Högskolan i Gävle.
Karolinska institutet, Stiftelsen Stockholms sjukhem.
Lunds universitet.
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2018 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 35, p. 33-38, article id S1462-3889(18)30069-3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: The knowledge about young adults who have lost a parent to cancer is limited, and to reach a broader understanding about this group, this study used the Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement (Stroebe and Schut, 1999) as a theoretical framework. The purpose of this study was to describe loss- and restoration-oriented bereavement stressors and psychosocial wellbeing of young adults following the loss of a parent to cancer.

METHOD: This survey used baseline data from a longitudinal study. Young adults, aged 16-28 years, who lost a parent to cancer more than two months earlier and agreed to participate in support groups held at three palliative care services in Sweden, responded to a comprehensive theory-based study-specific questionnaire.

RESULTS: Altogether, 77 young adults (64 women and 13 men) answered the questionnaire an average of five-to-eight months after the loss. Twenty percent (n = 15) had not been aware of their parent's impending death at all or only knew a few hours before the death, and 65% (n = 50) did not expect the death when it occurred. The young adults reported low self-esteem (n = 58, 76%), mild to severe anxiety (n = 55, 74%), mild to severe depression (n = 23, 31%) and low life satisfaction.

CONCLUSION: Young adults reported overall poor psychosocial wellbeing following bereavement. The unexpectedness and unawareness of the parent's imminent death, i.e., loss-oriented bereavement stressors, might influence psychosocial wellbeing. Despite these reports, restoration-oriented stressors, such as support from family and friends, helped them to cope with the loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 35, p. 33-38, article id S1462-3889(18)30069-3
Keywords [en]
Bereavement, Cancer, Palliative care, Parental death, Psychosocial, Young adult
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-6894DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2018.05.004PubMedID: 30057081OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-6894DiVA, id: diva2:1239358
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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