Gender and emotions: Icelandic parents experiencing childhood cancer

Erla Kolbrun Svavarsdottir
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2005, 42 (5): 531-8
The purpose of the study was to evaluate gender difference and the level of well-being among 26 Icelandic parents of children under 18 years with cancer and to compare mothers' and fathers' caregiving demands. Contrary to expectations, there was no overall significant difference between mothers' and fathers' well-being or their caregiving demands. On the other hand, the level of well-being was significantly different between the parents; 56% of the mothers showed clinically or problem-indicative stress, compared to 26.3% of the fathers. These findings emphasize the impact of cancer in children on parents' well-being and caregiving activities. Interventions focusing on the general well-being of mothers and fathers might benefit the parents as well as other members of the family.

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