Patterns of psychological responses in parents of children that underwent stem cell transplantation

Authors

  • Roberto Riva,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ulla Forinder,

    1. Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Johan Arvidson,

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Karin Mellgren,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Institution for Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jacek Toporski,

    1. Section of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Department of Pediatrics, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jacek Winiarski,

    1. Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Annika Lindahl Norberg

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. U-CARE/Psychosocial Oncology and Supportive Care, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
    • Correspondence to: Department of Women's and Children's Health, Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: Annika.Lindahl.Norberg@ki.se

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Objective

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is curative in several life-threatening pediatric diseases but may affect children and their families inducing depression, anxiety, burnout symptoms, and post-traumatic stress symptoms, as well as post-traumatic growth (PTG). The aim of this study was to investigate the co-occurrence of different aspects of such responses in parents of children that had undergone HSCT.

Methods

Questionnaires were completed by 260 parents (146 mothers and 114 fathers) 11–198 months after HSCT: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Shirom–Melamed Burnout Questionnaire, the post-traumatic stress disorders checklist, civilian version, and the PTG inventory. Additional variables were also investigated: perceived support, time elapsed since HSCT, job stress, partner-relationship satisfaction, trauma appraisal, and the child's health problems. A hierarchical cluster analysis and a k-means cluster analysis were used to identify patterns of psychological responses.

Results

Four clusters of parents with different psychological responses were identified. One cluster (n = 40) significantly differed from the other groups and reported levels of depression, anxiety, burnout symptoms, and post-traumatic stress symptoms above the cut-off. In contrast, another cluster (n = 66) reported higher levels of PTG than the other groups did.

Conclusions

This study shows a subgroup of parents maintaining high levels of several aspects of distress years after HSCT. Differences between clusters might be explained by differences in perceived support, the child's health problems, job stress, and partner-relationship satisfaction. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary