Parental Uncertainty and Posttraumatic Stress in Serious Childhood Illness

Authors

  • Sheila Judge Santacroce

    Corresponding author
    1. Sheila Judge Santacroce, PhD, APRN, Alpha Alpha, Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT
      Dr. Santacroce, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, P.O. Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536–0740. E-mail: sheila.santacroce@yale.edu
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  • This work was supported in part by pilot funds from the Exploratory Center for Self-Management Interventions for Populations at Risk (1P20 NR07806-01, Principal Investigator: M. Grey), Yale University School of Nursing.

Dr. Santacroce, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, P.O. Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536–0740. E-mail: sheila.santacroce@yale.edu

Abstract

Purpose: To explicate the link between parental uncertainty and posttraumatic stress as a way to stimulate advancement in the design and evaluation of nursing interventions for parents of children with serious illness.

Methods: The literature on Mishel's uncertainty in illness theory and its reconceptualization-parental uncertainty in serious childhood illness-and posttraumatic stress are reviewed and synthesized. Pertinent methodological and sociocultural issues are discussed.

Conclusions: The literature indicates support for the theoretical link between parental uncertainty and posttraumatic stress. This linkage provides direction for the design and evaluation of nursing interventions to support parents of children with serious childhood illness.

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