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Authors: Ernst, Mareike
Brähler, Elmar
Wild, Philipp S.
Faber, Jörg
Merzenich, Hiltrud
Beutel, Manfred E.
Title: The desire for children among adult survivors of childhood cancer : psychometric evaluation of a cancer-specific questionnaire and relations with sociodemographic and psychological characteristics
Online publication date: 8-Jun-2022
Year of first publication: 2020
Language: english
Abstract: OBJECTIVE Long-term childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are less likely to become parents than their peers of the same age. Previous research has suggested that besides fertility, this outcome is shaped by psychosocial factors such as emotional motives toward having a child. Drawing from a sample of CCS with survival times >25 years, we present the validation of a questionnaire assessing cancer-specific reproductive motives and concerns. METHODS We evaluated the cancer-specific version of the Leipzig Questionnaire of Motives to have a Child (LKM-C) in a register-based sample of adult CCS (N = 632, 31% had children, 44.5% women). We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis and tested associations with sociodemographic characteristics and psychological symptoms (PHQ-9, GAD-2). RESULTS The questionnaire showed good item discrimination parameters and reliability (α = 0.86). The two-factorial structure was confirmed with the independent scales “return to normalcy” and “illness-related worries (child's/own health).” On average, CCS reported more motives in favor of a child than worries (P < .001; d = 1.12). Favorable attitudes were associated with the presence of a partnership and children, stronger current desire for a child, and fewer depressive symptoms. Worries were associated with an unfulfilled desire to have a child and elevated levels of depression and anxiety symptoms. CONCLUSIONS The LKM-C offers a brief measure of parenthood motivations in long-term CCS. Having a child signifies return to normalcy, health, fulfillment of life perspectives, and enrichment of the partnership. Less intense worries included illnesses of the child and concerns regarding one's own health. The questionnaire could inform follow-up care, psychotherapy, and fertility treatments.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY-NC
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Journal: Psycho-oncology
Pages or article number: 485
Publisher: Wiley
Publisher place: New York, NY
Issue date: 2020
ISSN: 1099-1611
Publisher DOI: 10.1002/pon.5285
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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