A portrait of self-reported health and distress in parents whose child died of cancer
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofOMEGA : journal of death and dying ; no. (September 2020).
Grieving a child following cancer is a substantially difficult task. The objectives of this research were: 1) to describe current quality of life (QoL), psychological distress and symptoms of grief of bereaved parents, and 2) to explore the role of possible contributors of QoL and psychological distress. Forty-six parents (32 mothers) of children who died of cancer were surveyed on their QoL, distress, and complicated grief. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression. Parents had a high frequency of grieving symptoms (58%). Mothers reported more retrospective grief symptoms than fathers when describing the year after child death. Current lower mental well-being was associated with experiencing higher retrospective grief symptoms, a shorter period since child death, and being a father. Hence, parents experienced disturbances even long after child death. Mothers and fathers may present specificities that should be considered when developing supportive activities for this vulnerable population.