Bogosian, Angeliki, Moss-Morris, Rona Moss-Morris and Hadwin, Julie
Psychosocial adjustment in children and adolescents with a parent with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review
Clinical Rehabilitation, 24, (9), . (doi:10.1177/0269215510367982).
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Objective: This systematic review explored the potential impact of parental multiple sclerosis on their offspring. It considered adjustment to parental multiple sclerosis at different developmental stages and the factors associated with good versus poor adjustment.
Data sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched for studies on children with a parent with multiple sclerosis. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were formulated. Hand-searching journals and reference lists, contacting authors and multiple sclerosis societies for additional unpublished papers complemented the searches.
Review methods: Twenty studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria were included. The research articles were ranked according to a quality assessment checklist and were categorized as good, medium or poor quality.
Results: The review found good evidence to suggest that parental multiple sclerosis has a negative impact on children’s social and family relationships and their psychological well-being. The review also identified potential factors associated with poor adjustment. These factors included parental negative emotions, increased illness severity, family dysfunction, children’s lack of knowledge about the illness and lack of social support. Adolescent children also seemed to be more at risk for psychosocial problems than school-age children.
Conclusions: There is good evidence that parental multiple sclerosis has a negative psychosocial impact on children, especially on adolescents.
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