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J Nurs Res. 2006 Jun;14(2):133-42.

The relationships between uncertainty and posttraumatic stress in survivors of childhood cancer.

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  • 1School of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Jen-Ai Road Section 1, Taipei 10063, Taiwan, ROC.


The purposes of this study were to understand the levels of uncertainty and posttraumatic stress and to examine their relationships in young adult survivors of childhood cancer. A cross-sectional correlational design was used in this study. Mailed survey was the data collection method. The Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale-Community Form was the measure of uncertainty. The University of California at Los Angeles Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Index was the measure of posttraumatic stress. A total of 46 (51.1%) survivors responded to the survey and the analysis was based on data from 45. Participants reported a mean 51.3 (SD = 14.5, range = 23 to 90) level of uncertainty; and a mean 15.7 (SD = 11.0, range = 0 to 43) level of posttraumatic stress. Uncertainty was positively correlated with posttraumatic stress (r = .40, p = .039). The re- conceptualization of the Uncertainty in Illness Theory (UIT) and developmental perspectives can explain the relationships between uncertainty and posttraumatic stress in the young adult survivors of childhood cancer. The re-conceptualization of UIT can serve as a guide for future studies.

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