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The Relationship between PTSD, Anxiety and Depression in Palestinian Children with Cancer and Mental Health of Mothers

Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of PTSD, depression and anxiety among children with cancer and relationship to mother’s mental health. A sample of 50 children with their mothers was selected from oncology department at El Nasser paediatric hospital in Gaza city.

Result: The results showed that 22% of children had partial PTSD and 18% had full criteria of PTSD, 62% of children had anxiety disorder and 68% had depression. For mothers, 70.8% of mothers scored above cut-off point of GHQ-28. The results showed that there were no correlations between total general health and subscale of mothers with children PTSD, anxiety and depression. However, there were relationship between depression and anxiety in children with cancer.

Conclusions: The results of this study revealed that mental health among parents of children with cancer in Palestine is higher compared with their counterparts in the other contexts. Based on the results, paediatric oncology nurses can raise parents’ awareness about their mental health problems, by interventions intended to decrease the risks. Parents could gain experience and information in group discussion, which provides appropriate opportunity for mothers to reflect on their own life stories. This life story perspective provides a realistic foundation that can support parents’ wellbeing and contribute to satisfying the needs of their children.

Author(s): Abdelaziz M Thabet and Mansour Mona A2

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