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Articles

Title: Coping with stress and social support of parents of children with life-threatening disease

Author:
Grażyna Cepuch, Anna Krupa, Katarzyna Wojtas
Language:
PL
Journal:
Polish Oncology
Year:
2011
Volume:
14
Number:
4
Start page:
174
Final page:
181
ISSN:
1505-6732
Keywords:
life threatening disease, parent, style of coping with stress, difficult situations, social support
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Introduction: Diagnosis of a child's illness is a very painful experience for parents. Procedure of treatment is challenging for the family cohesion, harmony and lifestyle. Life threatening disease, hope-bringing remission periods, the risk of recurrence and treatment side effects may have negative influence on all family members. Need for social support significantly influences the ability to cope with stress. Low demand is conducive for creating new strategies and effective coping with difficult situations. Aim of the study: The goal of this study was to determine the level and kinds of the received support and styles of coping with stress of mothers and fathers in a crisis situation of a child's illness. Material and methods: 38 mothers of children with life threatening conditions and 39 fathers of children with life threatening diseases took part in our study. The group comprised of 38 parents (mothers and fathers) of children who were qualified in the program of the Mam Marzenie Foundation, a first nationwide organization granting wishes to Polish children living with life threatening conditions in Malopolska Province. The support was assessed using Kmiecik-Baran Social Support Scale and the measurement of coping with stress was done with Endler and Parker CISS questionnaire, adapted for Polish research by Szczepanik, Strelau and Wrześniewski. Results: Parents differed in coping styles and kinds of support. They received a small amount of evaluative support and large amount of information support. Conclusions: Family and spouses are the main source of effective support for each other in difficult situations associated with a disease. The parents undertook constructive ways of coping with stress.