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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2003 Feb;57(1):75-81.

Psychosocial adjustment among pediatric cancer patients and their parents.

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1
Graduate Institute of Clinical Behavior Science, Graduate Institute of Nursing Science, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Abstract

Children with cancer face both physical and psychosocial challenges. However, there is not enough empirical evidence in Taiwan regarding how they and their families cope with their illness. The purpose of the present study was to explore the psychosocial impact of cancer on target children and their families as well as the degree of depression experienced by these children. Twenty-four pediatric cancer patients, aged 8 through 17 years, completed the Chinese version of Children Depression Inventory (CDI). Both these patients and 18 parents completed questionnaires about their psychosocial adjustment since the diagnosis of cancer. The results showed: (i) patients did not perceive significant changes in their psychosocial adjustment, whereas parents indicated significantly lower mood of patients and a slight decrease in the number of friends; (ii) both parents and siblings showed positive adjustment; and (iii) there was neither significant difference on the CDI scores between the pediatric cancer patients and a normative group, nor significant relationships between patients' CDI scores and demographic characteristics of both patients and their parents, parenting attitudes, as well as variables related to the illness. Lastly, the results are discussed in terms of issues of methodology and instruments. Possible direction for further investigations is suggested.

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