Psychometric properties of the Parenting Concerns Questionnaire in cancer survivors with minor and young adult children

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Abstract

Objective

Although cancer patients with minor children have become more of a focus of psycho-oncological research, little is known about specific parenting concerns. Instruments to assess the concerns and worries of parents with cancer are rare. The Parenting Concerns Questionnaire (PCQ) addresses this issue. We analyzed parenting concerns in cancer survivors and evaluated the German version of the PCQ.

Methods

A total of 1416 cancer survivors with minor and young adult children (≤21 years) were recruited in a register-based study. Descriptive analyses as well as reliability and validity analyses were conducted. We performed a confirmatory factorial analysis of the factor structure proposed by the authors of the original version on the PCQ.

Results

Seventy-three percent of the cancer survivors were women, average age was 47.5 years (SD 5.9). Mean time since diagnosis was 44 months (SD 23.4). Between 18 and 31% of survivors reported that they were concerned about their children. The PCQ proved to be a reliable and valid instrument showing medium correlations with standardized measures in expected directions and discriminating between survivors with and without use of psychosocial support services. The factor structure was supported by the confirmatory factorial analysis.

Conclusions

Assessing parenting concerns gives an additional insight into the situation of parents with cancer. In our sample of cancer survivors, we identified one out of three survivors being concerned regarding the impact of their illness on their children. The PCQ can be considered as a valid and reliable instrument with regard to identifying concerned parents with cancer. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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