Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 466–484

Adjustment and coping by parents of children with cancer: a review of the literature

  • M. A. Grootenhuis
  • Bob F. Last
REVIEW ARTICLE

Abstract

 Studies published since about 1980 on psychological adjustment and coping of parents of children with cancer were reviewed. First, results concerning parental adjustment in terms of psychological distress, marital distress, and family functioning were summarized. Secondly, the use of coping strategies such as social support, communication, and search for meaning were described. Thirdly, factors that influence parental adjustment to childhood cancer, such as coping strategies and illness-related and demographic variables were discussed. All studies are summarized in a review table, with information about the number of participating parents and children, the purpose, measures and major results. Difficulties in generalizing findings are possibly due to the heterogeneous group of children with cancer, the differences in reporting emotional problems by mothers and fathers, the difficulties in assessing illness-specific problems, and the diversity in the ways of assessing coping and adjustment.

Key words Childhood cancer Parents Adjustment Coping 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Grootenhuis
    • 1
  • Bob F. Last
    • 1
  1. 1.Emma Kinderziekenhuis, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, NL-1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tel.: (31) 20–56 65 674 Fax: (31) 20–60 91 242 e-mail: M.A.Grootenhuis@amc.uva.nlNL

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