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Study Finds More Than One Third of Parents Experience Traumatic Stress One Month After Child's Injury
Date:1/11/2010

15 Percent of Parents Still Experience Traumatic Stress Six Months Later

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to research by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recently published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, one month after their child was injured 37 percent of parents experienced acute stress disorder or significant traumatic stress symptoms, including re-experiencing the incident, avoiding reminders of the incident, and increased general anxiety or jumpiness. Of those parents 15 percent displayed longer-term symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) more than six months after the initial injury.

"Research consistently shows the important role that parents play in a child's recovery. So, in addition to all the things parents do to help their child recover, it's very important that they also take good care of themselves," says Nancy Kassam-Adams, Ph.D., the study's lead author and director of the behavioral science core at CHOP's Center for Injury Research and Prevention. "To help families understand and deal with their reactions to a child's injury, we created a web site, www.AfterTheInjury.org."

"It is natural for parents to feel very upset or anxious in the first days and weeks following a child's injury," explains Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author of the study and co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP. "But, when traumatic stress reactions go on for longer than a month, worsen, or get in the way of normal life, it is important for parents to seek support for themselves."

"It's harder to help your child if you - the parent - a
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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