Factor analysis and validity of the Polish version of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory in mothers of seriously ill children

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Aims and objectives

The purpose of this study was to evaluate and validate the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI) in mothers of severely ill children hospitalised currently or in the past within a paediatric hospital setting.


Serious illness in a child causes a sense of fear in her parents, which may occur in variously manifested stress.


The participants were 135 mothers of children treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Hematology & Oncology Department, and with perinatal history, who filled out Authors’ Questionnaire and the Polish version of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory. Mothers of all children except those hospitalised in the Intensive Care Unit, additionally filled out the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Modified (HADS-M) and Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R).


Statistical analyses demonstrated a bifactor structure explaining 49.28% of the total variance. The first factor refers to the distress associated with the feeling of threat and somatic reactions, explaining 34.99% of the variance. The second factor, describing negative emotions, explains 14.99% of the variance. Cronbach's α coefficient for the whole scale, eventually consisting of 11 items, is 0.80; for the subscale Feeling of Threat and Somatic Reactions is 0.75, and Negative Emotions is 0.72. The general severity of peritraumatic distress correlates positively with the level of anxiety (ρ = 0.50; p < 0.01) and depression (ρ = 0.49; p < 0.01).


Polish adaptation of the PDI appears to be a valuable tool for studying distress in parents of seriously ill children.

Relevance to clinical practice

All parents of hospitalised children are at risk of distress so personnel should pay attention to that and report to a clinical psychologist.

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