Psychological Impact of Chemotherapy for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on Patients and Their Parents

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Abstract

To assess the self-esteem of pediatric patients on chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and psychological status of their parents.

The psychological status of 178 children receiving chemotherapy for ALL and their parents was assessed using parenting stress index (PSI) to determine the degree of stress the parents are exposed to using parent's and child's domains. Self-esteem Scale was used to determine the psychological status of patients.

The study revealed significant low level of self-esteem in 84.83% of patients. Their parents had significant psychological stress. PSI was significantly associated with parents’ low sense of competence, negative attachment to their children, feeling of high restriction, high depression, poor relation to spouse, high social isolation variables of parent's domains. It was significantly associated with low distraction, negative parents’ reinforcement, low acceptability, and high demanding variables of child's domains. Long duration of disease was the most detrimental factor among demographic data of the patients.

Chemotherapy for ALL has a significant impact on the psychological status of both patients and their parents with high prevalence of low self-esteem in children and high degree of stress in their parents.

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