Posttraumatic stress, family functioning, and social support in survivors of childhood leukemia and their mothers and fathers.
OBJECTIVE To examine posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mothers of survivors of childhood cancer. Comorbidity of anxiety and depressive disorders, prevalence of subclinical PTSD, and the utility of a self-report measure as a screening instrument for PTSD were also investigated. METHOD Mothers (n = 65) completed a questionnaire self-report PTSD checklist (PCL-C). Mothers were administered several modules of the SCID: nonpatient edition by telephone, including the PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, and Major Depressive Disorder modules. RESULTS We diagnosed 6.2% of the sample with current PTSD. An additional 20% had subclinical PTSD. One of four mothers with PTSD diagnoses had a comorbid diagnosis of an anxiety and depressive disorder. The PCL-C evidenced diagnostic utility as a screening instrument. However, a moderate number of false-positives would result if the recommended cut-off on the instrument was used. CONCLUSIONS The PCL-C had diagnostic utility in screening mothers of childhood cancer survivors. The presence of comorbid diagnoses such as anxiety and depression should be examined.