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Title: Post-traumatic stress symptoms in young people with cancer and their siblings
Author: D'Urso, Anita
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1918
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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Background: Children with cancer and their families are frequently confronted with physical and psychosocial late effects resulting from cancer. In recent years, this has been expanded to include posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). However, to date very little research has been completed in the UK to investigate these symptoms. Furthermore, previous research has been limited by lack of adherence to mainstream theoretical accounts of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, the current study examined rates of PTSS in children with cancer and their siblings. Secondly, it investigated whether aspects of the Ehlers and Clark (2000) model of PTSD could provide a useful framework for understanding the phenomenon in this population. Methods: A cross-sectional between-groups design was employed to examine the differences in levels of PTSS between children who had been diagnosed with and/or treated for cancer (n = 34) and siblings (n = 26). Participants were aged between 8-18 years. Self-report measures of PTSS, maladaptive appraisals, traumacentred identity, thought suppression, perceived social support and family functioning were completed. Results: There were no significant differences between children with cancer and siblings on measures of PTSS. In support of the hypotheses, maladaptive appraisals, thought suppression and trauma-centred identity were found to significantly correlate with levels of PTSS for both children with cancer and siblings. Perceived social support was found to be significantly correlated with levels of PTSS for siblings only. Contrary to the hypothesis, family functioning was not related to PTSS for either the patient or sibling group. Conclusions: Results failed to evidence differences in levels of PTSS between children with cancer and their siblings. However, provisional support was found for aspects of the Ehlers and Clark (2000) cognitive model of PTSD in explaining PTSS for the current population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available