Anxiety and depression in parents 4-9 years after the loss of a child owing to a malignancy: a population-based follow-up.

Title

Anxiety and depression in parents 4-9 years after the loss of a child owing to a malignancy: a population-based follow-up.

Creator

Kreicbergs U; Valdimarsdottir U; Onelov E; Henter JI; Steineck G

Publisher

Psychological Medicine

Date

2004

Subject

Child; Female; Humans; Male; Adult; Parent-Child Relations; Aged; Middle Aged; Death; Age Factors; Longitudinal Studies; Risk Factors; Morbidity; Case-Control Studies; Preschool; Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support; bereavement; Depression/etiology; Psychological; Stress; Neoplasms; Anxiety Disorders/etiology

Description

BACKGROUND: Some consider the loss of a child as the most stressful life event. When the death is caused by a malignancy, the parents are commonly exposed not only to their own loss, but also to the protracted physical and emotional suffering of the child. We investigated parental risk of anxiety and depression 4-9 years after the loss of a child owing to a malignancy. METHOD: In 2001, we attempted to contact all parents in Sweden who had lost a child due to a malignancy during 1992--1997. We used an anonymous postal questionnaire and utilized a control group of non-bereaved parents with a living child. RESULTS: Participation among bereaved parents was 449/561 (80 %); among non-bereaved 457/659 (69%). We found an increased risk of anxiety (relative risk 1.5, 95 % confidence interval 1.1-1.9) and depression (relative risk 1.4, 95 % confidence interval 1.1-1.7) among bereaved parents compared with non-bereaved. The risk of anxiety and depression was higher in the period 4-6 years after bereavement than in the 7-9 years period, during which the average excess risks approached zero. Psychological distress was overall higher among bereaved mothers and loss of a child aged 9 years or older implied an increased risk, particularly for fathers. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological morbidity in bereaved parents decreases to levels similar to those among non-bereaved parents 7-9 years after the loss. Bereaved mothers and parents who lose a child 9 years or older have on average an excess risk for long-term psychological distress.
2004

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

1431-1441

Issue

8

Volume

34

Citation

Kreicbergs U; Valdimarsdottir U; Onelov E; Henter JI; Steineck G, “Anxiety and depression in parents 4-9 years after the loss of a child owing to a malignancy: a population-based follow-up.,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed January 17, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12982.

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