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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-102

Psychological Distress in Parents of Children with Cancer: A Descriptive Correlational Study

1 Department of Nursing, National University Hospital, Singapore
2 Evidence Based Nursing Unit, National University Hospital, Singapore
3 School of Nursing, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei, China

Correspondence Address:
PhD Violeta Lopez
School of Nursing, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_46_20

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Objective: This study aimed to ascertain levels of distress and contributing factors among parent caregivers of pediatric cancer patients in Singapore. Methods: In this descriptive correlational study, parental caregivers were recruited via convenience sampling during their child's inpatient admission or outpatient appointment. They were asked to complete a self-administered demographic survey and the Distress Thermometer for Parents (DT-P) tool. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, and correlation analyses were performed. Results: The mean DT-P score was 5.07 (standard deviation = 2.78), out of a maximum of 10. Distress was reported among 67.9% (n = 55) of caregivers. The cognitive domain of caregiving problems on the DT-P was found to correlate with distress. Parents most frequently reported cognitive problems (n = 21, 25.9%) and, least often, social problems (n = 6, 7.4%). Practical (P = 0.040), emotional (P = 0.001), physical (P = 0.026), and cognitive problems (P = 0.001) of caregiving were statistically significantly associated with distress. Conclusions: Notable levels of distress and proportions of distressed parents highlighted the heavy burden of caregiving. This may also be attributed to the differences in caregiving challenges. The psychological effects of parental caregiving highlight the need for supportive measures for pediatric cancer caregivers.

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