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Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2016 Aug 1;30(3):212-228. doi: 10.1891/1541-6577.30.3.212.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Family Functioning in Adult Children Facing Parental Cancer: A Comparison Study.

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University of Minho, School of Psychology, Braga, Portugal.


This study analyzed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and family functioning in a sample of adult children caregivers of cancer patients and in a group of adult children of nonchronically ill parents. Participants completed measures of family functioning and PTSD symptoms. The parental cancer group was subdivided into PTSD subgroups, and significant differences, on family functioning, were found. In the parental cancer group, the predictors of PTSD symptoms were being a woman and having an enmeshed or chaotic family functioning. Chaotic functioning mediated the relationship between family communication/satisfaction and PTSD symptoms, in the parental cancer group. Finally, there was a higher prevalence of PTSD symptoms in the parental cancer group, and participants with a probable PTSD diagnosis showed higher levels of family imbalance. This study shows that adult children facing parental cancer, who have a poorer family balance, may benefit from interventions that target family functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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