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A pilot study on peritraumatic dissociation and coping styles as risk factors for posttraumatic stress, anxiety and depression in parents after their child's unexpected admission to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Author(s): Bronner Madelon | Kayser Anne-Marie | Knoester Hendrika | Bos Albert | Last Bob | Grootenhuis Martha

Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
ISSN 1753-2000

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Aim To study the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression in parents three months after pediatric intensive care treatment of their child and examine if peritraumatic dissocation and coping styles are related to these mental health problems. Methods This is a prospective cohort study and included parents of children unexpectedly admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) from January 2006 to March 2007. At three months follow-up parents completed PTSD (n = 115), anxiety and depression (n = 128) questionnaires. Immediately after discharge, parents completed peritraumatic dissocation and coping questionnaires. Linear regression models with generalized estimating equations examined risk factors for mental health problems. Results Over 10% of the parents were likely to meet criteria for PTSD and almost one quarter for subclinical PTSD. Respectively 15% to 23% of the parents reported clinically significant levels of depression and anxiety. Peritraumatic dissocation was most strongly associated with PTSD, anxiety as well as depression. Avoidance coping was primarily associated with PTSD. Conclusion A significant number of parents have mental health problems three months after unexpected PICU treatment of their child. Improving detection and raise awareness of mental health problems is important to minimize the negative effect of these problems on parents' well-being.
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