Optimism, anxiety, and coping in parents of children hospitalized for spinal surgery

Lynda L. LaMontagne, Joseph Hepworth, Michele H. Salisbury, Linda P. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Optimistic expectations about outcomes have significant implications for behaviors. Knowing the role that dispositional optimism plays in parents' anxiety and coping responses during their child's surgical experience is essential to aid professionals in bolstering parents' coping and providing support. Parental optimism, anxiety and coping, and whether optimism moderated (changed) the anxiety-coping relationship preoperatively and postoperatively were the factors evaluated in this study. Parents (N = 60) primarily white of middle and upper middle class, were administered the Life Orientation Test to assess optimism, Spielberger's State Anxiety Scale and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Parental anxiety decreased significantly from preoperative to postoperative levels but remained high, indicating that parents continue to be emotionally distressed during their child's recovery. Reappraising the situation more positively (positive reappraisal) was the most often used emotion-focused coping strategy and seeking social support was the most often used problem-focused coping strategy. The preoperative and postoperative anxiety-coping relationships also depended on parents' levels of optimism. The use of emotion-focused coping strategies was not effective for reducing anxiety in highly optimistic parents. Recommendations include continually assessing the parents' need for reassurance and support throughout the surgical experience. Professionals can bolster parental coping by stressing the benefits of surgery and encouraging parents to be actively involved in the child's care and progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Hospitalized Child
Anxiety
Parents
Emotions
Optimism
Child Care
Social Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Optimism, anxiety, and coping in parents of children hospitalized for spinal surgery. / LaMontagne, Lynda L.; Hepworth, Joseph; Salisbury, Michele H.; Riley, Linda P.

In: Applied Nursing Research, Vol. 16, No. 4, 11.2003, p. 228-235.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

LaMontagne, Lynda L. ; Hepworth, Joseph ; Salisbury, Michele H. ; Riley, Linda P. / Optimism, anxiety, and coping in parents of children hospitalized for spinal surgery. In: Applied Nursing Research. 2003 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 228-235.
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