Mental Health Services for Parents Who Lost a Child to Cancer: If We Build Them, Will They Come? Academic Article Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Self Report
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult

MeSH Major

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Grief
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Mental Health Services
  • Neoplasms
  • Parents
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care

abstract

  • To examine bereavement mental health service use, barriers to use, and factors associated with use in parents bereaved by cancer. A multicenter, cross-sectional study of 120 parents bereaved by cancer between 6 months and 6 years after their loss was performed. Parents completed self-report assessments of mental health service use and barriers, prolonged grief, depression, anxiety, attachment styles, and sense of meaning by phone, in person, or on their own. Forty-one percent of bereaved parents were currently using mental health services (talk therapy, psychotropic medication, and/or a support group), most commonly within the first 2 years after their loss. Talk therapy was the most frequently used service, although 36% of parents who discontinued therapy did so because it was not helpful. Forty percent of parents who wanted bereavement support reported they were not receiving services. The most common barriers to service use were that it was too painful to speak about the loss (64%) and too difficult to find help (60%). Factors associated with current mental health service use included more recent loss, prior mental health service use, subclinical/increased depression, insecure attachment styles, and a decreased sense of meaning. Minority parents were more likely to have unmet needs than nonminority parents. Parents appear to need, want, and often access bereavement mental health services, which could be offered in oncology settings. However, barriers to service use must be addressed, particularly for those with more debilitating grief symptoms and for minorities. High treatment dropout rates suggest the importance of improving retention, training providers, and developing effective grief interventions. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

publication date

  • July 10, 2015

has subject area

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Grief
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Neoplasms
  • Parents
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Self Report
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult

Research

keywords

  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study

Identity

Language

  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4486343

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/JCO.2014.59.0406

PubMed ID

  • 26033819

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2246

end page

  • 2253

volume

  • 33

number

  • 20