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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 Feb;26(2):120-6.

Parenting stress and parental post-traumatic stress disorder in families after pediatric heart transplantation.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There has been little research on the stress experienced by parents of children who have undergone heart transplantation.

METHODS:

Parents of 52 consecutive pediatric heart transplant recipients completed questionnaires assessing illness-related parenting stress and post-traumatic stress symptoms at a routine clinic visit. Medical charts were reviewed retrospectively to gather peri- and post-operative information.

RESULTS:

The average age of patients at transplant was 12 years (range 1 to 18 years), and participation occurred 3 months to 10 years post-transplant (median 2.5 years). Nearly 40% of parents indicated moderately severe to severe post-traumatic stress symptoms. Ten of the 52 participating parents met DSM-IV-TR clinical diagnostic criteria for current post-traumatic stress disorder. Parents also identified significant levels of illness-related parenting stress in the areas of communication around the child's illness, emotional distress, managing the child's medical care, and balancing role functions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Illness-related parenting stress and post-traumatic stress symptoms are significant concerns among parents of pediatric heart transplant patients. Parents' psychologic functioning post-transplant should be routinely assessed and addressed by transplant teams.

PMID:
17258144
DOI:
10.1016/j.healun.2006.11.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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