Miller, A. Cate, Pit-ten Cate, Ineke M., Watson, Heather S. and Geronemus, Roy G.
Stress and family satisfaction in parents of children with facial port-wine stains
Pediatric Dermatology, 16, (3), . (doi:10.1046/j.1525-1470.1999.00051.x).
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A cross-sectional survey was employed to assess parenting stress, family satisfaction, and parental concerns and to determine predictors of stress in parents of children with port-wine stains (PWSs). The participants were 46 parents of 24 children receiving treatment with pulsed dye laser photocoagulation for facial PWS at an outpatient dermatology clinic based at a university medical center. Outcome measures used were self-report instruments assessing psychosocial adjustment (Parenting Stress Index, Family Satisfaction Scale, and Parental Concerns Questionnaire). As a group, parents scored in the average range on the stress and family satisfaction measures when compared with a normative sample; five parents (11%) scored in the clinical range for stress. Forty-nine percent of the variance in parenting stress was accounted for by four variables: the child's age (? = 0.34; p = 0.031), the parents' degree of family satisfaction (? = ?0.27; p = 0.077), the level of parental concern regarding the child's facial PWS (? = 0.45; p = 0.005), and the parents' satisfaction with staff communication (? = ?0.51; p = 0.002). The data suggest that while, as a group, parents of children with a facial PWS report to be in the average range for psychological stress, some do not fare as well as others. Factors associated with lower stress include younger children, more family cohesion and adaptation, fewer parental concerns, and greater satisfaction with parent-staff communication. The potential for the development of medical complications and psychological problems over time suggests the need for treatment of the PWS at an early age. Health care providers should be prepared to screen for clinical levels of distress and to refer parents for psychological intervention when needed.
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