Family Members of Children With Life-Threatening Illnesses Are More Likely To Suffer Mental Issues

The children’s hospital of Philadelphia revealed that parents and siblings of individuals who suffer from terminal illness are potential candidates for mental health issues. The study measures the number of relatives who have been treated for mental illnesses following the experience.

The researchers estimated that at least 50-70% of the close relatives receive treatment for mental illnesses. Individuals from these families are at a higher risk of getting treatment for mental health issues than those from “normal” families.

Previous studies have highlighted a few factors that encourage mental illnesses, such as high amounts of stress and the experience of post-dramatic stress. 

In addition, the studies highlighted that the experience damages parts of their lives 

How the study authors conducted the research

One of the leading study authors, Chris Feudtner, stated the authors were familiar with the subject matter due to their involvement with such families. Feudtner further added that the study hopes to bring awareness to the plight and assist the affected families.

The study focused on a target population of 6,909 cases and 28,619 affected families. Researchers conducted the survey between August 2020 to March 2021. 

In addition, the authors utilized cases with the same insurance company and a member with life-threatening illnesses. They then compared the patients to families with no one with life-threatening diseases. 

The research then investigated the amount of health care visits to the center and the medical prescriptions that accompany them. The visits could be patient visits or telephone consultations. 

The study looked into a few diseases

The study authors revealed that many relatives visited the center to consult on healthcare issues. The study calculated that 68% of the individuals were sisters, 61% were mothers, and 51% were fathers of children with life-threatening disorders. 

However, the study was limited to only four cases of life-threatening diseases. The authors stated that it establishes the foundation of other authors to carry out studies on the same plight. 

The negative impact experienced by family members during this time is hefty. The study author’s issue critical interventions and solutions that assist affected families maintain their mental health stability during this time. 

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