WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Impact of Caring for Chidren with Cerebral Palsy on Mothers' Quality of Life
Babatunde Olusola Adegoke, Babatunde Olusola A Adegoke

Last modified: 2012-02-22


Purpose:  Caring for children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP) could have negative effects on the mothers who are usually the primary care givers. Information on the impact of caring for children in Nigeria with CP on their mothers’ Quality of Life (QoL) is not readily available. This study hence compared the QoL of mothers of children with CP with that of age-matched mothers without children with CP.

Relevance: The study’s outcome draws attention to unappreciated impact of caring for children with CP on their Nigerian mothers.

Participants: The cross-sectional survey involved 40 mothers of children with CP with age range of 23 -35 years and 40 age-matched mothers of children without CP. To participate in the study, mothers of children with CP must have only a child with CP; have no chronic medical condition and/or severe or chronic psychological disorder before or after delivery of the child with CP. The controls had no child with CP, no chronic medical condition or psychological disorder and were not caring for an individual with disability.

Methods: Participants were recruited through purposive sampling. Quality of life was assessed using World Health Organization Quality of Life –Bref (WHOQOL-Bref) or its Yoruba translated version.

Analysis: Data were summarized using mean and standard deviation and further analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test with alpha level set at 0.05.

Results: Seventy-one percent of participants were Christians, 65 .0 % had at least secondary school education and 51.0 % were engaged in unskilled occupation. There was no significant difference (p = 0.14) between the mean age of mothers of CP children (30.53 ± 3.65 years)  and the controls (29.33 ± 3.55 years).Mothers of children without CP had higher scores than mothers of children with CP in the overall QoL, overall health perception, and all domain scores of the WHOQOL-Bref.  There was however no significant difference between the two groups’ overall QoL (p = 0.11), overall health perception (p = 0.23) and all the domain scores (p >0.06).

Conclusion: Caring for a child with CP did not have significant impact on their mothers’ QoL though mothers of children with CP scored lower than controls in all QoL domains.

Implication: Measures aimed at improving mothers’ QoL are important in the management of children with CP.

Keywords: caregivers, cerebral palsy, quality of life.

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