Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents of severely ill children see benefits as caregivers, says study

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
University of Waterloo
Summary:
Benefits often coexist with the negative and stressful outcomes for parents who have a child born with or later diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, says a recent study. More than 270 parents of children under the age of 20 in Canada and the U.S. with diseases and conditions such as cancer, severe cerebral palsy and irreversible organ failure participated in this study by answering a 15-page questionnaire.

Benefits often coexist with the negative and stressful outcomes for parents who have a child born with or later diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, says a recent study led by a researcher at the University of Waterloo.

Related Articles


While the challenges are numerous and life-changing and stress levels high, the vast majority of parents who participated in the Waterloo-led research reported positive outcomes as well, a phenomenon known as posttraumatic growth. The findings appear in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

"What is pivotal is the meaning the parents make -- what it means to them to be a parent who is doing more than parenting: they are care-giving as well," said Professor Susan Cadell, lead author of the study. She is a professor in the School of Social Work at Renison University College at Waterloo. "For many parents this means learning a great deal about their child's illness, the treatment and sometimes it includes advocating for themselves and others in similar circumstances."

More than 270 parents of children under the age of 20 in Canada and the U.S. with diseases and conditions such as cancer, severe cerebral palsy and irreversible organ failure participated by answering a 15-page questionnaire.

On average, respondents spent more than 62 hours a week as caregivers, the majority said their employment status changed as a result of their child's condition, and reported high levels of difficulty in managing cost. Still, caregivers reported growth, as measured by the PostTraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), a common tool used to measure positive aspects of stressful situations.

Out of a possible 126 points, with zero indicating no growth at all, the parents reported an average of 62 points on the PTGI. Areas measured include relating to others, personal strength, appreciation of life and spiritual change.

"The findings indicate that there are a variety of positive aspects in a population where we think not much positive at all is happening," said Professor Cadell. "Our response rate was high because people wanted to talk about their children, families and relationships. This research has the potential to positively impact support for care-giving parents."

Researchers from six universities contributed to the study, including McGill University, the University of British Columbia, York University, University of Victoria and Nipissing University. The study looks at the first three years of data.

With the wealth of information collected during this study, including three more years of data, the research team plans to examine how posttraumatic growth changes over time. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded the project. A documentary film involving many of the families is also in the works for use in course work and outreach programs.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Waterloo. "Parents of severely ill children see benefits as caregivers, says study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125307.htm>.
University of Waterloo. (2014, April 24). Parents of severely ill children see benefits as caregivers, says study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125307.htm
University of Waterloo. "Parents of severely ill children see benefits as caregivers, says study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125307.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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