Unresolved grief in a national sample of bereaved parents: impaired mental and physical health 4 to 9 years later

Title

Unresolved grief in a national sample of bereaved parents: impaired mental and physical health 4 to 9 years later

Creator

Lannen PK; Wolfe J; Prigerson HG; Onelov E; Kreicbergs UC

Publisher

Journal Of Clinical Oncology

Date

2008

Description

PURPOSE: To assess unresolved parental grief, the associated long-term impact on mental and physical health, and health service use. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This anonymous, mail-in questionnaire study was performed as a population-based investigation in Sweden between August 2001 and October 2001. Four hundred forty-nine parents who lost a child as a result of cancer 4 to 9 years earlier completed the survey (response rate, 80%). One hundred ninety-one (43%) of the bereaved parents were fathers, and 251 (56%) were mothers. Bereaved parents were asked whether or not, and to what extent, they had worked through their grief. They were also asked about their physical and psychological well-being. For outcomes of interest, we report relative risk (RR) with 95% CIs as well as unadjusted odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios. RESULTS: Parents with unresolved grief reported significantly worsening psychological health (fathers: RR, 3.6; 95% CI, 2.0 to 6.4; mothers: RR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.9 to 4.4) and physical health (fathers: RR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.8 to 4.4; mothers: RR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.6 to 3.3) compared with those who had worked through their grief. Fathers with unresolved grief also displayed a significantly higher risk of sleep difficulties (RR, 6.7; 95% CI, 2.5 to 17.8). Mothers, however, reported increased visits with physicians during the previous 5 years (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.6) as well as a greater likelihood of taking sick leave when they had not worked through their grief (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.5). CONCLUSION: Parents who have not worked through their grief are at increased risk of long-term mental and physical morbidity, increased health service use, and increased sick leave.
2008

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

Citation

Lannen PK; Wolfe J; Prigerson HG; Onelov E; Kreicbergs UC, “Unresolved grief in a national sample of bereaved parents: impaired mental and physical health 4 to 9 years later,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed February 4, 2023, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14041.

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