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The cortisol response in parents staying with a sick child at hospital



The cortisol response in parents staying with a sick child at hospital



Nursing Open 6(2): 620-625



To study the cortisol response in parents staying with their child in paediatric wards, to compare the parents' cortisol levels between the paediatric ward and at home 4 weeks after discharge and to compare the parents' cortisol levels with data of an adult reference population, reported by Wust et al., as there are few studies investigating parental cortisol. This study has a descriptive and prospective comparative design. Thirty-one parents participated. Saliva samples were collected in the paediatric ward and 4 weeks later at home. The parents had lower morning awakening cortisol levels in the paediatric ward than at home after discharge. There were no statistically significant differences in postawakening cortisol or cortisol awakening response (CAR). The child's age, diagnosis or previously diagnosed chronic condition did not affect the parents' cortisol levels. The morning and postawakening cortisol levels were lower than those of the reference population. The hospital stay with a sick child affects parents' cortisol levels. Parental stress needs more attention to find interventions to prevent the risk of stress-related complications that subsequently can affect the care of the child.

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Accession: 066631644

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30918712

DOI: 10.1002/nop2.245


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