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Bereavement stressors and psychosocial well-being of young adults following the loss of a parent – A cross-sectional survey
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society/Division of Social Work, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Department of Health Care Sciences/Palliative Research Centre, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden; Function Area in Social Work and Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work. Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society/Division of Social Work, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Function Area in Social Work and Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society/Division of Social Work, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Function Area in Social Work and Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society/Division of Social Work, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; .
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2018 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 35, p. 33-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The knowledge about young adults who have lost a parent to cancer is limited, and to reach a broader understanding about this group, this study used the Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement (Stroebe and Schut, 1999) as a theoretical framework. The purpose of this study was to describe loss- and restoration-oriented bereavement stressors and psychosocial wellbeing of young adults following the loss of a parent to cancer. Method: This survey used baseline data from a longitudinal study. Young adults, aged 16–28 years, who lost a parent to cancer more than two months earlier and agreed to participate in support groups held at three palliative care services in Sweden, responded to a comprehensive theory-based study-specific questionnaire. Results: Altogether, 77 young adults (64 women and 13 men) answered the questionnaire an average of five-to-eight months after the loss. Twenty percent (n = 15) had not been aware of their parent's impending death at all or only knew a few hours before the death, and 65% (n = 50) did not expect the death when it occurred. The young adults reported low self-esteem (n = 58, 76%), mild to severe anxiety (n = 55, 74%), mild to severe depression (n = 23, 31%) and low life satisfaction. Conclusion: Young adults reported overall poor psychosocial wellbeing following bereavement. The unexpectedness and unawareness of the parent's imminent death, i.e., loss-oriented bereavement stressors, might influence psychosocial wellbeing. Despite these reports, restoration-oriented stressors, such as support from family and friends, helped them to cope with the loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Churchill Livingstone , 2018. Vol. 35, p. 33-38
Keywords [en]
Bereavement, Cancer, Palliative care, Parental death, Psychosocial, Young adult, adolescent, adult, anxiety, article, conceptual framework, controlled study, female, friend, human, life satisfaction, longitudinal study, major clinical study, male, palliative therapy, process model, questionnaire, self esteem, support group, Sweden, theoretical study, wellbeing
National Category
Social Work Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26787DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2018.05.004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047055134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-26787DiVA, id: diva2:1213605
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-06-05 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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