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Association of psychological distress and religious coping tendencies in parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer: A cross-sectional study.

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2021 Apr 12

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<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>Parents of children with cancer exhibit high levels of psychological distress. Parents of children with serious illness report religion and spirituality are important coping resources. We sought to describe characteristics of religion, religious coping, social support, and resiliency in parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer and examine associations between psychological distress and self-reported religious coping, religiosity, resiliency, and social support.</p>

<p><strong>PATIENTS AND METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional observational study of 100 parents of 81 unique children recently diagnosed with cancer. Parents provided demographic information and completed measures of psychological distress, importance of religion, religious coping, resiliency, and social support. Patients' type of tumor and intensity of treatment were collected by medical record abstraction.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Compared to nationally reported data for adults, parents of children with cancer reported high scores for psychological distress but similar levels of religiosity, religious coping, and resiliency. Negative religious coping (feelings of negativity related to the divine) was associated with higher levels of psychological distress. This effect was most prominent in parents who reported the highest levels of religiosity. Positive religious coping, religiosity, and social support were not associated with levels of psychological distress.</p>

<p><strong>DISCUSSION: </strong>Findings confirm high levels of distress for parents of children with cancer. Negative religious coping was associated with higher levels of psychological distress but positive religious coping, religiosity, and other coping factors were not found to be significantly associated with distress. Further assessment of negative religious coping to inform interventions to promote resiliency is warranted as they may impact parental decision-making and care.</p>



Alternate Title

Pediatr Blood Cancer




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