Feelings of guilt and embitterment in parents of children with burns and its associations with depression

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Abstract

Objectives: The aim was to examine guilt and embitterment in mothers and fathers of children with burns and its associations with depression and burn severity. Methods: Parents (N = 61, mothers n = 41, fathers n = 20) completed self-report questionnaires on guilt and embitterment, 0.8–5.6 years after their child's burn. Burn severity and socio-demographic variables were obtained from medical records and symptoms of depression were assessed with the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Results: The parents reported low levels of guilt, embitterment and depression. Burn-specific and general guilt were higher in mothers than fathers, but there were no differences in embitterment or symptoms of depression. General guilt was associated with depression, whereas burn-specific guilt and embitterment were not. Conclusions: Parents with general guilt may suffer from symptoms of depression. An implication is that clinicians should address guilt feelings among parents in order to alleviate distress and to identify any need for further counseling.

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APA

Sveen, J., & Willebrand, M. (2018). Feelings of guilt and embitterment in parents of children with burns and its associations with depression. Burns, 44(5), 1135–1140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2018.02.005

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