PTG in Clinical Practice

Posttraumatic Growth in Youth, Young Adults and Caregivers Who Experienced Solid Organ Transplant

October 1, 2022
Journal of Pediatric Psychology

To explore posttraumatic growth (PTG) in pediatric patients who have undergone solid organ transplant (SOT) and their caregivers, and to examine potential correlates of PTG. Youth and young adults with a history of SOT (heart, kidney, liver) at least 1 month prior to participation and caregivers completed measures of PTG, demographic, and medical factors. In total, 59 youth (M ¼ 12.68 years, SD ¼ 1.91), 21 young adults (M ¼ 19.37, SD ¼ 0.82), and 95 caregivers (M ¼ 37.95 years, SD ¼ 9.37) participated. Overall, 67% of youth, 76% of young adults, and 89% of caregivers reported PTG within the medium to very high range. Appreciation of Life was the highest PTG subscale across all groups. Youth and caregiver PTG scores were significantly positively correlated. Religious affiliation and religious coping were positively associated with PTG for caregivers, and the relationship yielded large effect sizes for young adults. Caregivers of children with kidney transplants endorsed lower PTG than other organ types and caregivers of children who had an acute medical condition endorsed greater PTG than caregivers of children who had chronic illness. Findings suggest the pediatric SOT experience can yield positive changes such as a greater appreciation of life. Although small sample sizes may have led to reduced power for detecting significant findings for some analyses, results suggest religious, medical, and parent–child relationship factors are likely related to PTG in pediatric SOT and warrant future investigation.

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