Abstract T P363: A Pilot Study: Parents Show Evidence of PTSD while Children Display Anxiety following Childhood Stroke
Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly found in parents and child following life-threatening pediatric illness or injury including cancer, organ transplant, traumatic brain injury, and admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. It can be diagnosed months to years after the event. The prevalence and significance of PTSD in parents and children following a childhood stroke are unknown. We examine the emotional outcomes of a cohort of 33 parents and 10 children following recent stroke in the child.
Methods: We prospectively enrolled children with stroke of ages 7-18 years and parents of children with stroke ages 0-18 years whose stroke occurred in 2013 or 2014. Parents were screened for PTSD using the PTSD checklist and children with stroke ≥ 7 years of age were screened with the University of California Los Angeles PTSD Reaction Index. Emotional outcome of the child was examined with the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC-2). Parents were surveyed on their child’s stroke outcome with the Recurrence and Recovery Questionnaire (RRQ).
Results: Of the 33 parents (10 fathers, 23 mothers) 18 (55%) met one or more of the 3 PTSD criteria and 8 (24%) met all criteria for PTSD. Although not yet reaching significance, RRQ is higher in the group of parents with PTSD (RRQ M= 1.2, SD=1.4) compared to parents without PTSD (M=0.6, SD=1.0). The subsample of children enrolled ranged in age from 7 to 17 years old at time of stroke. Although preliminary, of the children who were surveyed none met criteria for PTSD while 2 of the 9 (22%) had clinically significant levels of anxiety.
Conclusion: Preliminary findings reveal a rate of PTSD in parents of children with childhood stroke similar to that found in parents of other critically ill children. We did not yet detect PTSD in our small sample of children. However, emotional ratings revealed that over 20% experience anxiety. The children of parents with PTSD had higher RRQ scores reflecting increased disability which may be related to the parent’s PTSD. PTSD in parents of a child with stroke and children with anxiety following stroke could impede compliance with therapeutic interventions and, consequently, lead to poorer functional outcome in the child.
Author Disclosures: L.L. Lehman: None. K. Maletsky: None. F. Islam: None. M.J. Rivkin: None. C. Mrakotsky: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.