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Title: Posttraumatic stress following accidental injury to children
Author: Dainty, J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 8015
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2014
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which develops following a traumatic event. PTSD is characterised by symptoms including nightmares, flashbacks, irritability and sleeping difficulties, amongst a range of other symptoms as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Recent changes made to the diagnostic criteria for PTSD in the DSM-5 (2013) now consider hearing about a traumatic event as being directly traumatising for individuals, and further considers developmental factors in children when assessing for PTSD (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It is recognised that both adults and children can develop posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) following a range of traumatic events. Research assessing parent and child reactions when children have experienced physical illness indicates that both parents and children experience PTSS (Santacroce, 2002; Fuemmeler, Mullins & Marx, 2001; Fuemmeler, Mullins, Van Pelt, Carpentier & Parkhurst, 2005). Parent and child PTSS following accidental traumatic injury to a child, however, is less well understood. The systematic review in chapter one of this thesis, aims to synthesise the current literature in the area of PTSS in parents and children, following accidental injury to the child. The background to the development of this synthesis is presented. This review was produced in order to gain an understanding of, and to synthesise, current research findings, and to identify whether parent PTSS is associated with the development of child PTSS. The results of the systematic review highlight gaps in knowledge, and a significant lack of qualitative research in this area. There is limited understanding of parents‟ experiences of their physically-injured child being returned home into an environment where parents may potentially be traumatised. Parents‟ PTSS can have a negative impact on child coping and the development of child PTSS following their physical injury (Ostrowski, Christopher & Delahanty, 2007; Nugent, Ostrowski, Christopher & Delahanty, 2007). It is vital to understand and address, parents‟ responses to traumatic events, which may be associated with children‟s responses. The empirical paper presented in chapter two of this thesis therefore aims to assess the frequency of parent PTS responses following their child‟s accidental traumatic injury, to add to the current evidence base. Given the limited understanding of parents‟ experiences of these events within the literature, the current study also explores parents‟ experiences of their child returning home after presenting with relatively high levels of PTSS when their child was in hospital. It is important to understand parents‟ experiences of these events in order for clinicians to know how to best support families, and to minimise PTS reactions. The empirical paper presents background research leading to the rationale of the current study, and the methods selected to address the aims and objectives of the research. Results are presented followed by a discussion, including clinical implications and areas for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available