Quality of life among parents of South African children with autism spectrum disorder.

Acta Neuropsychiatr. 2018 Mar 22;:1-6

Authors: Alhazmi A, Petersen R, Donald KA

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To describe the quality of life (QOL) of South African parents caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as compared with parents of typically developing (TD) children from the same community.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was done evaluating the QOL of parents of 52 children (26 parents of children with ASD versus 26 parents of TD children) using a structured measure, (World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-BREF).
RESULTS: The mean age of the children with ASD was 64.9 months (SD 14.5) versus 60.1 months (SD 13.5) for TD group. There was a male predominance among group of children with ASD (48 boys, four girls). The mean parental age of the ASD group was 32.9 years (SD 7.8) compared with 33.8 years (SD 6.8) for the TD group. As compared with parents of the TD children, parents of children with ASD had lower mean QOL scores in the four QOL domains: physical, psychological, social and environmental health (p<0.0001). the domain where the discrepancy between groups was greatest was the physical domain Where the mean score was 52.1 (SD 18.7) in the ASD group and 92 (SD 10.4) in the TD group. Lower income, severity level of ASD and lack of access to school placement of children with ASD were found significantly associated with parents' QOL domains.
CONCLUSION: QOL of parents of children with ASD is significant lower than that of the parents of their TD peers across all domains and is an important component in management of the family which needs to be explored and addressed.

PMID: 29565002 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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