The impact of caring for a child with cerebral palsy : quality of life for mothers and fathers

Davis, E., Shelly, A., Waters, E., Boyd, R., Cook, K. and Davern, M. 2010, The impact of caring for a child with cerebral palsy : quality of life for mothers and fathers, Child : care, health and development, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 63-73.

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Title The impact of caring for a child with cerebral palsy : quality of life for mothers and fathers
Author(s) Davis, E.
Shelly, A.
Waters, E.
Boyd, R.
Cook, K.
Davern, M.
Journal name Child : care, health and development
Volume number 36
Issue number 1
Start page 63
End page 73
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2010-01
ISSN 0305-1862
1365-2214
Summary Background:  Although it is expected that caring for a child with cerebral palsy (CP) can impact on the quality of life (QOL) of caregivers, the QOL of carers' has yet to be adequately examined. The aims of this study are to: (1) explore the QOL of mothers and fathers of children with CP aged 3–18 years; and (2) examine whether the impact of caring for a child with CP changes from childhood to adolescence.

Method
: A qualitative study was conducted utilizing a grounded theory framework. Twenty-four mothers and 13 fathers of children and adolescents with CP aged 3–7 years (n = 15), 8–12 years (n = 10) and 13–18 years (n = 12) and with varying levels of impairment (GMFCS Level I = 1, II = 4, II = 3, IV = 5, V = 12) participated in semi-structured interviews about their QOL. The transcripts were analysed to identify issues affecting parental QOL.

Results: There were no differences in parental QOL among subgroups (i.e. mothers and fathers, age groups, GMFCS levels). Parental QOL ranged across a wide spectrum. Caring for a child with CP affects a parent's physical well-being, social well-being, freedom and independence, family well-being and financial stability. Parents indicated that they often feel unsupported by the services they access.

Conclusions
: Caring for a child with CP can both positively and negatively impact on a parent's life. There is value for both parents and children if parental concerns and determinants of QOL are considered in overall programme planning and service delivery for children and their families.
Language eng
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30024889

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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Created: Fri, 05 Mar 2010, 08:44:21 EST by Sally Morrigan

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