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Manne Sharon
Commentary: Adopting to a broad perspective on posttraumatic stress disorders, childhood medical illness and injury
Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2009 Jan-Feb;34(1) :22-26
PMID: Peer Reviewed Journal: 2009-00460-004   
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Comments on the articles by N. Jurbergs, A. Long, L. Ticona, and S. Phipps (see record 2009-00460-002) and by Markus A. Landolt et al. (see record 2009-00460-003). In the first study, the authors compared a group of parents of children diagnosed with cancer with a group of parents of physically healthy children. Parents of children across a range of treatment phases, including those on treatment, and parents of children who had had a cancer recurrence, were studied. The authors suggest that the first diagnosis may leave parents vulnerable to developing posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) when their child is diagnosed with a relapse or recurrence. In the second study, children who had acquired severe accidental burns were evaluated for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the association between PTSD and quality of life outcomes was assessed. These two studies illustrate key issues in the consideration of whether childhood illness and medical injury is a viable framework for studying PTSD and PTSS. In summary, I believe it is important to move beyond debating the prevalence of PTSD as a method of determining whether PTSD is a viable framework for understanding emotional responses to childhood illness and injury. It is clear that a subset of families report significant stress responses and that PTSD and subsyndromal symptoms reduce quality of life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).