, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 307-323

Posttraumatic Stress in Survivors of Childhood Cancer and Mothers: Development and Validation of the Impact of Traumatic Stressors Interview Schedule (ITSIS)

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Abstract

This study presents initial data validating the use of a new instrument, the Impact of Traumatic Stressors Interview Schedule (ITSIS), to assess the occurrence of cancer-related posttraumatic stress in childhood cancer survivors and their mothers. Sixty-six child/adolescent cancer survivors and 64 of their mothers, as well as 130 young adult survivors, completed the ITSIS and other measures of posttraumatic stress and general distress. Five ITSIS factors were identified for the mothers and for the young adult survivors, and three ITSIS factors were identified for the child/adolescent survivors. Factors in all three samples reflected symptoms of posttraumatic distress, concern over medical late effects, communication, and changes in self due to cancer. Only young adult survivors had a factor reflecting a positive engagement with the cancer history. Factors correlated with validation measures in predicted ways. The findings further the conceptualization of posttraumatic stress in pediatric cancer by describing the traumatic experience for survivors and mothers. Comparing factors across samples allows an examination of different influences of cancer within families and over the course of development.