Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in family caregivers of adult patients with acute leukemia from a dyadic perspective

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Abstract

Background:

Acute leukemia is a fatal disease in adults that not only affects the patients who suffer from it but also their family caregivers. No studies have investigated post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSS) in family caregivers of adult patients with acute leukemia using a matched sample. The current study examined PTSS in adult patients with acute leukemia and their family caregivers and investigated the factors associated with caregivers' PTSS.

Methods:

A total of 163 patient–caregiver dyads completed questionnaires assessing their PTSS, psychological resilience, and perceived social support. Hierarchical linear regression was used to explore the related factors of caregivers' PTSS.

Results:

More caregivers than patients met caseness criteria for PTSS (36.8% vs. 18.4%,p< 0.001). Among caregivers, being more closely related to the patients (e.g., spouses and parents), having patients with higher PTSS and having lower psychological resilience were independently associated with more severe PTSS.

Conclusions:

Caregivers of acute leukemia patients had significantly more severe PTSS than did their patients. This study is the first to investigate PTSS among family caregivers of adult patients with acute leukemia and its related factors in a matched sample. More attention should be paid to the caregivers of patients with acute leukemia to minimize their PTSS and thus improve mental health of caregivers and reduce potential negative consequences for the patients themselves. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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