When a parent suffers from multiple sclerosis: psychosocial effects on children and adolescents

Doctoral Dissertation uoadl:1305572 1000 Read counter

Τομέας Κοινωνικής Ιατρικής - Ψυχιατρικής και Νευρολογίας
Library of the School of Health Sciences
Deposit date:
Τσιάντης Άλκης Κωνσταντίνος
Dissertation committee:
Γ. Χρούσος
Original Title:
Ψυχοκοινωνικές επιπτώσεις στα παιδιά από την πολλαπλή σκήρυνση (Π.Σ.) πάσχοντος γονέα
Translated title:
When a parent suffers from multiple sclerosis: psychosocial effects on children and adolescents
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common degenerative diseases of the
Nervous System, which most often affects women in their reproductive age and
has a chronic and progressive character and an unpredictable course. The
prognosis of MS is usually poor leading to serious disability. Like other
chronic diseases it leads to major changes in family life and functioning. MS
is causing psychological distress and mobilises different coping abilities in
individual family members and in the family as a whole. The negative effects of
MS are often directly related to presenting symptoms (pain, reduced mobility
etc) but are also related to increased healthcare needs and financial demands
posed by the disease. Another negative effect is the burden, real or imagined
that the affected person puts in other family members and the family in total.
It is not uncommon that relevant difficulties appear in other family members
than the affected parent especially when there is ”conspiracy” around illness.
Children (often like the partners of affected persons) feel deprived of their
physical and mental needs and are at risk of getting a variety of physical
complaints or a broad range of mental difficulties.
In the present study we investigate the psychosocial effects on children and
adolescents when a parent suffers from MS. The sample includes 57 children and
adolescents aged from 4 to 17 and their families. We investigate the coping
strategies of children and adolescents when a parent in the family suffers from
MS as well as the coping strategies of the family as a whole. We also
investigate possible correlations between different coping strategies and
family features. We finally investigate protective factors which may reduce the
effects of chronic illness.
Chronic disease, Multiple sclerosis, Psychosocial effects, Protection factors, Adjustment strategy
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