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Caring for a young adult with cancer: The impact on mothers' health.

Grinyer, Anne (2006) Caring for a young adult with cancer: The impact on mothers' health. Health and Social Care in the Community, 14 (4). pp. 311-318. ISSN 0966-0410

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Abstract

That the carers of people with cancer are profoundly affected by their caring role is well established, yet the needs of one particular cohort, i.e. the parents of young adults with cancer, have not been well understood. The majority of carers in this situation are mothers, and it is the impact of the emotional and physical labour entailed by the care of young adults that is the focus of the present paper. Through the analysis of qualitative narrative data contributed by the mothers of young adults with cancer, the aim of this paper is to examine the health effects for women of caring for a young adult son or daughter with a life-threatening illness. The results suggest that there is an impact on the mother's health that results in unspecific, low-grade and chronic psychological and somatic symptoms which the mothers rank as a low priority. The mothers’ attempts to appear to be managing may serve to mask their own health needs from health professionals whose primary concern is the health of the son or daughter. Where psychological distress is admitted, the resulting use of prescribed antidepressants may not be experienced as helpful. The conclusions are that, because of the particular circumstances of caring for a young adult son or daughter with cancer, health professionals’ attention to the mothers’ health throughout the cancer journey may act as a preventative measure for later and more serious ill health.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Health and Social Care in the Community
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Applied Social Science
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 3330
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 20 Mar 2008 10:29
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2013 11:17
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3330

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