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J Cancer Educ. 1994;9(1):30-6.

Children who have a parent with cancer: a pilot study.

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Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.


This British pilot study was undertaken to determine whether the children of cancer patients experience problems and anxieties related to the parent's diagnosis and treatment. The data were collected by means of semistructured interviews with 24 adolescent children (16 sons, eight daughters) whose parents' cancers had been diagnosed between two and six years previously (mean four years). Self-report questionnaires to assess adolescent anxiety were also completed at the interviews. The results show that some of the children experienced problems and anxieties related to their parents' cancers that affected their school lives, sports and leisure activities, family lives, and relationships. Factors that were significantly associated with high anxiety scores were: inability to discuss the parent's illness with parents; having to spend less time with friends; having to spend less time on sport and leisure activities; deterioration in schoolwork; and continuing anxiety over the parent's illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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