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Psychological Burden of Care in Parents/Caregivers of Children with Surgical Conditions: A Local Experience


Olumide Elebute*

Background: There is a paucity of literature on the psychological burden on parental caregivers of children with surgical conditions. Knowledge of the peculiar psychological challenges faced by the parents or caregivers could help to advocate for the incorporation of a psychologist or psychiatrist as part of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity and the burden of care among caregivers of pediatric patients undergoing surgery and to ascertain the correlation between psychiatric morbidity and the burden of care of caregivers.

Materials and methods: This was a crosssectional study over six months on caregivers of pediatric surgical patients at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Zarit’s Caregiver Burden Scale (ZCBS) and the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) were used to obtain data on the burden of care and psychiatric morbidity. Data obtained was analysed using SPSS (version 23). A ZCBS score ≥ 21 and a GHQ-28 value above 4 were considered indicative of signi icant caregiving burden and psychological morbidity respectively.

Results: A total of 120 caregivers were recruited into the study, with 106 (88.3%) females. The mean age was 34.7 (SD7.7) years. The mean GHQ score was 6.3 (SD5.9) whereas the mean ZCBS was 24.96 (SD14.67). Sixty (50.0%) caregivers had a GHQ score greater than four and seventy-one (59.2%) had a ZCBS score ≥ 21.

Conclusions: The care of children undergoing surgical procedures is associated with a signi icant caregiving burden and psychological distress among irst-degree family caregivers. There is a need for further studies to determine the pattern of their psychological ill health as this could impact negatively the quality of care rendered.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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