Title

Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms in Parents of Children With Acute Burns

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2006

Journal

Journal of Pediatric Psychology

DOI

10.1093/jpepsy/jsj016

PMID

15788717

Published Open-Access

no

Keywords

Acute Disease, Adult, Burns, Child, Fathers, Female, Humans, Male, Mothers, Parents, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Surveys and Questionnaires

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To develop a model of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in parents of children with burns.

METHODS: Immediately following the burn and 3 months later, parents reported on their children's and their own psychological functioning and traumatic stress responses.

RESULTS: Approximately 47% of the parents reported experiencing significant posttraumatic stress symptoms 3 months after the burn. Our model indicates three independent pathways to PTSD symptoms (i.e., parent-child conflict, parents' dissociation, and children's PTSD symptoms). Additionally, parents' anxiety predicted increased parent-child conflict, conflict with extended family and size of the burn predicted parents' dissociation, and size of the burn and children's dissociation predicted children's PTSD symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that many parents of children with burns suffer from posttraumatic stress symptoms. Interventions that target factors such as family conflict, children's symptoms, and parents' acute anxiety and dissociation may diminish the risk for PTSD.

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