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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


LOPEZ, J; ORTIZ, G  y  NORIEGA, C. Posttraumatic growth in parents of children and adolescents with cancer. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2019, vol.42, n.3, pp.325-337.  Epub 20-Abr-2020. ISSN 1137-6627.

Cancer can provoke negative psychological reactions. Nevertheless, coping with oncological issues can also result in positive psychological changes that demonstrate the strength of the human being, one of them being posttraumatic growth (PTG). The aim of this narrative review was to examine and analyze studies, published from 2000 to 2018 and available in different data sets, that focus on PTG in parents of children and adolescents with cancer in the pediatric context.

Twenty studies were identified, including 2,422 subjects, mainly mothers (n=1,788). PTG was analyzed according to the differences among relatives, outcome and type of oncological disease, and its predictor factors. Fathers and mothers are both capable of developing PTG as a result of their children’s disease, mothers being the ones who present higher levels. Compared with other samples like parents of children with type I diabetes or healthy children, or adult patients with osteosarcoma, parents of children with cancer present more PTG. Likewise, factors that influence the development of PTG, such as cultural context, cognitive processing, adjustment to the disease and certain personality traits are observed.

The published clinical evidence endorses the existence of PTG in parents of children with cancer. However, it would be necessary to carry out further investigation, particularly subjective and longitudinal studies with larger homogeneous samples, in order to design interventions aimed at promoting PTG and avoid focusing solely on the negative aspects of oncological disease in children.

Palabras clave : Pediatric oncology; Family; Trauma; Positive emotions; Psycho-oncology.

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