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bone marrow transplant, caregiver, hematopoietic stem cell transplant, life-threatening illness, parent, pediatric cancer, pediatric palliative care, posttraumatic growth



  1. Beckmann, Nicole B. PhD, APRN-CNP
  2. Dietrich, Mary S. PhD, MS
  3. Hooke, Mary C. PhD, APRN, CNS, CPON, FAAN
  4. Gilmer, Mary Jo PhD, MBA, RN-BC, FAAN
  5. Akard, Terrah Foster PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN


Little is known about the development of posttraumatic growth among parents of children with serious advanced disease. The purpose of this study is to describe parental posttraumatic growth 100 days after pediatric stem cell transplant. This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study of 24 parents, approximately 100 days after their children received stem cell transplant. Participants reported environmental, personal, and disease characteristics and completed measures of distress, coping, rumination, and posttraumatic growth. Evidence of parental posttraumatic growth was described in each of 5 dimensions (relating to others, new possibilities, personal strength, spiritual change, and appreciation of life). Posttraumatic growth was positively associated with parental distress, disengagement coping, and rumination measures (r = 0.44-0.47, P < .05). Appreciation of life demonstrated the strongest associations with distress and rumination (r = 0.53-0.61, P < .01). Curvilinear relationships were observed for the association of distress, disengagement coping, and involuntary engagement with posttraumatic growth (P < .05). Study results highlight opportunities for palliative care nurses and clinicians to facilitate opportunities to support parent posttraumatic growth during treatment for children's advanced disease.