Post-traumatic stress symptoms in childhood brain tumour survivors and their parents.
Bruce M., Gumley D., Isham L., Fearon P., Phipps K.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in childhood brain tumour survivors and their parents. A further aim was to explore the relationship between objective illness parameters, parent-child interactions, coping styles and PTSS. METHODS: A cross-sectional correlational design was employed. Fifty-two childhood brain tumour survivors, aged 8-16, and 52 parents completed a battery of questionnaires designed to assess quality of parent-child interactions, monitoring and blunting attentional coping styles and PTSS. RESULTS: Over one-third (35%) of survivors and 29% of their parents reported severe levels of PTSS (suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder 'caseness'). Increased parent-child conflict resolution for survivors and number of tumour recurrences for parents independently predicted the variance in PTSS. CONCLUSIONS: For a substantial proportion of brain tumour survivors and their parents the process of survivorship is a considerably distressing experience.