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Parental Uncertainty: Parents’ Perceptions of Health-Related Quality of Life in Newly Diagnosed Children With Cancer

Ijeoma Julie Eche
Teri Aronowitz
Ling Shi
Margaret A. McCabe
CJON 2019, 23(6), 609-618 DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.609-618

Background: Parents of children with cancer are predisposed to psychological distress symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and uncertainty. This vulnerability may exacerbate underlying mood disturbances, including trait anxiety and depression, and influence parents’ perception of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in their children.

Objectives: This study examined the relationship between parental uncertainty and parent proxy reports of HRQOL in newly diagnosed children with cancer.

Methods: A longitudinal descriptive approach was used to examine the relationship between parental uncertainty and parent proxy reports of HRQOL in 55 parent–child dyads. Parental trait anxiety, depression, and perceived social support were evaluated as potential predictor variables.

Findings: Parents of newly diagnosed children with cancer reported lower parent proxy HRQOL scores. Parental uncertainty was prevalent and affected parents’ perceptions of HRQOL three months following diagnosis; however, higher social support scores buffered these negative effects.

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