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Factors Related to Parental Well Being in Children with Cancer
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by A Othman, N Mohamad, Z Hussin, Sarah BlundenSarah Blunden
Parents of children with cancer experience a challenging situation in coping with the child’s diagnosis and changes that the illness puts in the overall family condition. Method: A cross-sectional study on 79 parents was conducted in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Sociodemographic information was obtained. Participants completed a set questionnaire measuring their level of anxiety and stress, knowledge about cancer, and amount of activities they perform with or for the child to enhance the child’s coping abilities. Children’s psychological problems were also assessed through parental reports. Results: Parents with higher cancer knowledge reported reduced stress (p<0.01) and anxiety (p<0.05). The higher the income (p<0.05) and education (p<0.01), the higher cancer knowledge. Parental stress was negatively correlated with income (p<0.05) and education (p<0.01), indicating that the better educated and higher the salary, less stress symptoms. Highly educated parents engaged in more activities with their children (p<0.05). Parental anxiety was correlated significantly with children’s current treatment including chemotherapy procedure (p<0.01), ‘In-patient’ Vs ‘Outpatient’ (p<0.01), and children’s condition (p<0.01). Parents of hospitalized children who underwent chemotherapy were significantly more anxious than their counterparts. Parents who perceived their children’s current condition as ‘very good’, reported reduced anxiety, compared to those who reported their child’s condition as ‘ok’. The more psychological problems the children had, the higher parental anxiety (p<0.05) and stress symptoms (p<0.01). Discussion: Some groups of parents had more psychological difficulties compared to others. Ongoing psychological assessment and intervention may reduce parental stress by increasing coping and reducing children psychological problems.