PERCEIVED STRESS IN PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC DISEASE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

  • Rami Masa'Deh PhD in Nursing, Jordan

Abstract

Background: Cancer, diabetes, asthma, congenital heart diseases and cerebral palsy are the most prevalent paediatric chronic illnesses in the world, and Jordan has particularly high prevalence. Most studies agree that parenting a child with a chronic illness is a stressful event, but few of them compared parental stress in relation to different diagnoses. Therefore, this study investigates parental stress levels when having a child diagnosed with cancer and compares these levels to those of parents with a child suffering from other chronic illnesses. Methods: A survey of 600 participants parenting a child with a chronic illness (i.e. 305 parents of children with cancer and 295 parents of children with other chronic illnesses). Participants answered the Arabic version of the Perceived Stress Scale 10-items and Characteristics Check List Questionnaires. Findings: There were no significant differences in the socio-demographic characteristics of parents of children with cancer and those parenting children with other chronic illnesses. Parents of children with cancer reported significantly higher stress levels than parents of children with other chronic illnesses (p<0.001), with a medium effect size (0.02). In the cancer group, the highest mean stress level was for those parenting children liver cancer and the lowest was for parents of children with lymphoma. In the other group, parents of children with cerebral palsy had the highest mean stress score and parents of children with asthma had the lowest. Conclusions: These findings indicate the need to assess families of a child with chronic illness in Jordan to recognise their psychological needs and offer continuous psychological support.

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Published
2015-12-30
How to Cite
Masa’Deh, R. (2015). PERCEIVED STRESS IN PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC DISEASE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 11(36). https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2015.v11n36p%p