Objectives: To assess psychological distress, styles of coping and disease-related psychosocial limitations in parents of children and adolescents who survived meningococcal septic shock (MSS) 4-16 years ago. Research methodology: An exploratory design using standardised questionnaires and interviews. Setting: The psychological investigation took place in the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the ErasmusMC-Sophia Children's Hospital. Main outcome measures: 87 mothers and 77 fathers participated in this study. The General Health Questionnaire was used to assess parents' psychological distress; the Utrecht Coping List to assess styles of coping. A semi-structured disease-specific interview served to explore long-term disease-related psychosocial limitations for parents. Results: MSS parents reported similar psychiatric symptoms and styles of coping in comparison to reference groups. Severity of illness and the child's age at time of illness were not significant predictors of parental psychological distress and styles of coping. The presence of somatic sequelae, cognitive or behavioural and emotional problems was not associated with the levels of parental psychiatric symptoms or styles of coping. The vast majority of parents reported no current disease-related psychosocial limitations due to the MSS. Conclusion: Parents of children who survived MSS show recovery. Nevertheless a minority still experiences emotional burden and disease-related limitations.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.iccn.2010.01.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/19493
Intensive and Critical Care Nursing
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vermunt, L., Buysse, C., Joosten, K., Hazelzet, J., Verhulst, F., & Utens, E. (2010). Recovery in parents of children and adolescents who survived septic shock caused by Neisseria meningitidis: A cross-sectional study. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 26(3), 128–137. doi:10.1016/j.iccn.2010.01.001