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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Severity of cerebral palsy and its impact on level of stress in the caregivers: A correlational study

Department of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsyalaya, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kiran Kriti
A 501, Saraswati Apartments, Madhu Vihar, I.P Extension 97, Patparganj, Delhi - 110 092
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_17_18

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Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the leading cause of chronic disability in children making them physically and mentally challenged and socially aloof. CP children also experience a range of comorbidities such as seizures disorder and visual and hearing impairments. Parenting is inherently stressful at times, and studies have shown that being a caregiver of a disabled child is more stressful. Objectives: The objectives of the study were (1) to evaluate the correlation between the level of severity of CP children and its impact on stress on their caregivers, (2) to find the effect of co-morbid factors on the level of stress in caregivers, and (3) to evaluate the relationship between the socioeconomic status (SES) of caregivers and their stress. Study Design: This was correlation study. Methods: One hundred caregivers with the age group between 21 and 62 years participated in the study, of them 13 were male and 83 were female. CP children aged between 1 and 12 years were included in the study. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for assessing severity level, the Parental Stress Scale (PSS) for parental stress, and the Kuppuswamy Scale for SES were utilized for objective assessment. Results: Weak nonsignificant correlation found between GMFCS and PSS (P = 0.943, 95% of confidence interval [CI] of difference: −2.04–4.01). Strong significant positive correlation between comorbid factors and parental stress (P = 0.000, 95% CI of difference: 4.5–13.2 for visual impairment, P = 0.000, 95% CI of difference: 2.1–15.1 for hearing impairment, and P = 0.000, 95% CI of difference: 4.4–13.3 for seizure disorder); however, a negative nonsignificant correlation was found between parental stress and SES (P = 0.634, 95% CI of difference: 1.4–0.6). Conclusion: The severity of the child's disability had no influence over the degree of parenting stress. Total family income was found to be weakly and inversely correlated with the degree of parenting stress. However, there was a strong relationship between comorbid factors and parental stress.

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