Parent psychosocial adjustment to inpatient pediatric rehabilitation, and the role of uncertainty and self-care.

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DOI: 10.1037/rep0000483


PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: The stressors experienced by parents of children admitted for inpatient rehabilitation likely place parents at high risk for poor psychosocial adjustment; however, no research to date has described parent adjustment during the acute phase of a child's inpatient rehabilitation hospitalization. The present study evaluates parent adjustment processes through the lens of the transactional stress and coping model by assessing a specific cognitive process (i.e., illness uncertainty) and coping methods (i.e., self-care), which may influence parent adjustment during the inpatient rehabilitation.

RESEARCH METHOD/DESIGN: Forty-two parents (47.6% White, 86% female) of children newly admitted to a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation hospital were recruited. Parents completed self-report measures of demographics, illness uncertainty, self-care, and depressive, anxious, and posttraumatic stress symptoms.

RESULTS: Sixty-six percent of parents reported clinically significant symptoms in at least one domain of distress. Illness uncertainty accounted for 22.2%-42.4% of the variance in parent distress symptoms, after controlling for parent and child age, parent trauma history, and income. Self-care accounted for 35.1%-51.9% of the variance in parent distress symptoms, when accounting for parent and child age, parent trauma history, and income.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: More than half of parents endorsed clinical elevations in anxiety, depression, and/or posttraumatic stress. Illness uncertainty and self-care are likely very important clinical topics to discuss with parents. Future research should seek to not only assess how parent distress changes across time, but also how other cognitive processes, as well as environmental and family factors influence the parent adjustment process. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Journal Title

Rehabilitation psychology





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MeSH Keywords

Child; Humans; Female; Male; Self Care; Uncertainty; Inpatients; Parents; Anxiety; Stress, Psychological


Self Care; Uncertainty; Inpatients; Parents; Anxiety; Psychological Stress


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