Parental quality of life in complex paediatric neurologic disorders of unknown aetiology
until further notice
SourceEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 20, 5, (2016), pp. 723-731
Article / Letter to editor
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Paediatrics - OUD tm 2017
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Complex paediatric neurology (CPN) patients generally present with non-specific symptoms, such as developmental delay, impaired movement and epilepsy. The diagnostic trajectory in these disorders is usually complicated and long-lasting, and may be burdensome to the patients and their parents. Additionally, as caring for a chronically ill child can be stressful and demanding, parents of these patients may experience impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aims to assess parental HRQoL and factors related to it in CPN. Physical and mental HRQoL of 120 parents was measured and compared to the general population using the SF-12 questionnaire. Parents also completed this questionnaire for the measurement of patient HRQoL. Additional questionnaires were used to measure parental uncertainty (Visual Analogue Scale) and worry phenomena (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), and to obtain socio-demographic data. A linear mixed model with random effect was used to investigate which of these variables were associated with parental HRQoL. As compared to the general population, HRQoL of these parents appeared diminished. Fathers showed both lowered physical (51.76, p < 0.05) and mental (49.41, p < 0.01) HRQoL, whereas mothers only showed diminished mental (46.46, p < 0.01) HRQoL. Patient HRQoL and parental worry phenomena were significantly correlated with overall and mental parental HRQoL. The reduction in parental mental HRQoL is alarming, also because children strongly rely on their parents and parental mental health is known to influence children's health. Awareness of these problems among clinicians, and supportive care if needed are important to prevent exacerbation of the problems.
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