Depressive Symptoms among Parents of Newly Diagnosed Children with Cancer: A 6-Month Follow-Up Study
Fifty-five parents of children with cancer participating in a longitudinal prospective study of adjustment to treatment were assessed 6 months postdiagnosis. Initial parent depressive symptoms subsided somewhat, but depressive symptoms remained a problem for a subset of parents whose initial response was in the moderate-to-severe range of depressive symptoms. Spouse support, in the form of instrumental support, along with the number of general behavioral problems exhibited by children were most strongly predictive of persistent disruption to parent mood. The results suggest that parents who report moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms might benefit from early intervention that includes behavioral strategies to improve child behavior and encouragement of a greater level of spouse involvement in caregiving tasks.