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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2013 December;49(6):823-7

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Depression and anxiety levels in mothers of children with cerebral palsy: a controlled study

Yilmaz H., Erkin G., Nalbant L.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Konya Education and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey


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Background: Studies investigating depression and anxiety levels in mothers of children with CP and related factors are limited, and controversial findings are reported in these studies.
Aim: The study was aimed to determine depression and anxiety levels in mothers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to define factors related to depression and anxiety levels.
Design: A descriptive study.
Setting: Outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic of an education and research hospital.
Population: The study was composed of two groups: group 1, 116 mothers of children with CP and group 2, 114 mothers of healthy children.
Methods: Mothers of children with spastic-type CP were included into group 1. Functional levels in children with CP were investigated with The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Depression levels of mothers in both groups were assessed with Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and anxiety levels with Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI).
Results: BDI and BAI scores were statistically and significantly higher in group 1, compared to group 2. Among mothers in group 1, a positive correlation was determined between GMFCS score, and depression and anxiety levels. However, no correlation was detected between depression and anxiety levels, and body involvement of CP, education status, age and economic level among patients. In logistic regression analysis, the most significant risk factors of depressive symptoms were detected to be GMFCS score and speech defects.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that depression and anxiety levels of mothers with CP children are higher than those with healthy children and associated with speech defects and functional disability levels in children with CP. Healthcare professionals should take into account that depression and anxiety levels may be higher in mothers of children with CP.
Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: For an effective rehabilitation program related to children with CP, depression and anxiety levels in mothers of such children should be taken into account, and mothers should closely be followed and if necessary, psychologically supported.

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