The impact of childhood chronic neurological diseases on Greek families (Journal article)

Tzoufi, M./ Mantas, C./ Pappa, S./ Kateri, M./ Hyphantis, T./ Pavlou, M./ Mavreas, V./ Siamopoulou-Mavridou, A.

Background Although the impact of childhood chronic neurological diseases (CND) on patients' psychological well-being has been increasingly addressed, little attention has been given to the influence of these conditions on family members and family functioning. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the family characteristics of Greek children suffering from CND. Methods A total of 52 parents of children with CND were studied by using the Family Environmental Scale (FES), the Family Burden Scale, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and a questionnaire on the knowledge of their children's illness, their coping strategies and their satisfaction with our services. During the same period, 30 parents of hospitalized children for common paediatric illnesses completed the FES. In both groups social and demographic features were registered. Appropriate statistical processes were applied to compare the above-mentioned family groups and to study the differences between the families of children with epilepsy (n = 37) and the families of children with other CND (n = 15). Results Parents of children with CND discuss their problems less freely, talk less openly around home, score highly on FES subscale of Conflict and, pay more attention to ethical and religious issues and values. Furthermore, the families of children with other CND were more burdened regarding the financial state and the health status of other family members in comparison with families of children with epilepsy. In addition, families of children with epilepsy were more involved in social and recreational activities, appeared to be more knowledgeable on the availability of help in critical conditions and were more satisfied with rendered medical services, in comparison with families of children with other CND. Conclusion These preliminary findings provide important information concerning the special characteristics of Greek families of children suffering from CND, which may prove especially helpful in organizing specific support services.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Θετικών Επιστημών. Τμήμα Μαθηματικών
Keywords: children,chronic neurological diseases,epilepsy,family,general health questionnaire,epilepsy,children,burden,version
ISSN: 0305-1862
Link: <Go to ISI>://000226439100014
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα σε επιστημονικά περιοδικά ( Ανοικτά)

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