Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in Parents of Patients With Retinoblastoma

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American Journal of Ophthalmology


Purpose: To assess depression, anxiety, and stress in parents of patients with retinoblastoma and to evaluate the impact of unifocal vs multifocal retinoblastoma.

Methods: A cross-sectional, self-reported psychological assessment of parents of patients with retinoblastoma at a tertiary care ocular oncology center was performed. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), The Parental Stress Index 4-Short Form, and a retinoblastoma Knowledge Assessment questionnaire were administered. Descriptive statistics for outcomes and comparative analyses were made.

Results: There were 138 parents of children with retinoblastoma (unifocal: n = 77, multifocal: n = 61). Overall, parents displayed mild, moderate, or severe depression (BDI) (n = 37, 26.7%); mild, moderate, or severe anxiety (BAI) (n = 49, 35.8%), and stress scores within normal limits (n = 138, 100%). A comparison (unifocal vs multifocal) revealed parents of children with multifocal retinoblastoma with severe depression (1.4% vs 10.2%, P < .02), and no differences in anxiety or stress. Factors associated with moderate or severe parental depression included previous history of depression (30.0% vs 3.9%, P < .001) and factors for moderate or severe anxiety included previous history of depression (33.3% vs 8.6%, P < .001), parent highest level of education at high school or less vs college or beyond (29.2% vs 10.9%, P = .031), and parental report of "child developmental delay" (31.5% vs 11.3%, P = .019).

Conclusions: The majority of parents displayed minimal depression (73.3%), anxiety (64.2%), or stress (100%). However, severe depression is more often found in those whose children have multifocal disease, and previous history of depression and less education can impact psychological function. NOTE: Publication of this article is sponsored by the American Ophthalmological Society.

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Publication Date

Fall 11-2019