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Anxiety is contagious-symptoms of anxiety in the terminally ill child affect long-term psychological well-being in bereaved parents.
Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8185-781X
Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet, Göteborgs universitet.
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2010 (English)In: Pediatric Blood & Cancer, ISSN 1545-5009, E-ISSN 1545-5017, Vol. 54, no 5, 751-757 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: We studied the relation between unrelieved symptoms in terminally ill children and the psychological well-being in the bereaved parents 4-9 years after their loss.

PROCEDURE: We contacted parents in Sweden who had lost a child to a malignancy 1992-1997. The parents were asked to assess symptoms affecting their child's well-being during his or her last month of life, and their own current psychological well-being.

RESULTS: Altogether 449/561 (80%) eligible parents supplied information on 19 specific symptoms that may occur in children with a malignancy and how each of these symptoms had affected their child's well-being during his or her last month of life (not applicable, none, low, moderate, or severe). These results were linked to questions concerning the parents' self-assessed mental health. Parents of children who were affected by disturbed sleep also had increased risk to develop these symptoms; RR 2.0 [1.4-2.9] for depression, 1.8 [1.3-2.5] for anxiety, 1.5 [1.2-1.8] for decreased psychological well-being, and 1.5 [1.3-1.9] for decreased quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: Bereaved parents whose children were affected by anxiety or disturbed sleep due to anxiety or pain had an increased risk of long-term psychological morbidity. Reducing psychological complications in seriously ill children may also improve the psychological well-being in bereaved parents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 54, no 5, 751-757 p.
Keyword [en]
Bereavement, Child, End-of-life, Pediatric, Symptoms
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-5120DOI: 10.1002/pbc.22418PubMedID: 20135696OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-5120DiVA: diva2:909135
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2016-03-04Bibliographically approved

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