Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack of sleep, stress describe a mother's experience after child's ALL treatment

Date:
March 11, 2014
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
Many months after their child's diagnosis and treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 46 percent of mothers exhibited symptoms of clinical anxiety and 26 percent of mothers showed depressive symptoms. The researchers chose to work with mothers in this maintenance period of relative stability following treatment so as to avoid making further demands on mothers during the acute period of their child's illness. This allowed them to look at the mid- and longer-term effects of a child's diagnosis on a mother's wellbeing.

"It's a whole new cancer world" and "I don't remember what it's like to have sleep" were the most common themes of mothers interviewed by University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers during the maintenance period after a child's treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Results of this qualitative study are published in a recent issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

A second study, published today in the Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, shows the quantitative differences between stress, anxiety and depression in these parents of chronically ill children and parents of healthy children. Many months after their child's diagnosis and treatment, 46 percent of mothers exhibited symptoms of clinical anxiety and 26 percent of mothers showed depressive symptoms.

"Even though these mothers were in the maintenance phase of their child's illness and the prognosis was good, we heard them say over and over that things could never go back to what they were before," says Madalynn Neu, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the CU College of Nursing, an education partner of the CU Cancer Center.

"Many had lost their normal lives -- lost jobs, houses, friends. Some were juggling their time around their child's needs and they had fears about many things -- fear of recurrence, fear of making a mistake with medication, fear their kids might get sick with an infection," says Ellen Matthews, PhD, RN, CU Cancer Center investigator and associate professor at the CU College of Nursing.

The researchers explain that they chose to work with mothers in this maintenance period of relative stability following treatment so as to avoid making further demands on mothers during the acute period of their child's illness. This allowed Neu, Matthews and colleagues to look at the mid- and longer-term effects of a child's diagnosis on a mother's wellbeing. For example, the researchers found that once sleep arrangements changed during a child's treatment, they frequently stayed changed rather than going back to what parents had seen as "normal" before treatment.

"Mothers talked about the difficulty of sleep while giving steroid medication. And if the ill child got to stay up late watching movies, the siblings wanted to stay up too. The same was true of sleeping in a parent's room: if an ill child wanted to sleep close to a parent (or if a parent wanted to sleep close to an ill child!), siblings tended to move in as well. Sleep can be challenging for parents of well children and our studies show it's even more so for parents of children who have experience ALL," Neu says.

Interestingly, the researchers point out that while depression and stress was higher in mothers of children treated for ALL, anxiety levels as measured by salivary cortisol levels were similar to mothers of well children.

"This may have been affected by the fact that even the control group wasn't without anxiety. Financial, marital, social and career concerns mean that parents of young children experience anxiety even without ALL," Matthews says.

The group hopes that awareness of maternal concerns after a child's treatment for ALL will help design interventions that will help mothers manage these lifestyle issues affected by their child's illness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Madalynn Neu, Ellyn Matthews, Nancy A. King. Exploring Sleep-Wake Experiences of Mothers during Maintenance Therapy for Their Child's Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2014.01.002

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Lack of sleep, stress describe a mother's experience after child's ALL treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311141538.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2014, March 11). Lack of sleep, stress describe a mother's experience after child's ALL treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311141538.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Lack of sleep, stress describe a mother's experience after child's ALL treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311141538.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins