Purpose.Parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) may be at risk from poor psychosocial well-being, compared with parents of children without a long-term health condition (LTHC). However, research has produced some conflicting findings on the topic and no comparison studies have been conducted in the UK. Furthermore, studies have only used measures of negative psychosocial well-being. The aim of this study was to conduct a comparative study of parents of children with CP and parents of children without a LTHC in the UK.
Method.Seventy parents of children with CP and 70 parents of children without a LTHC completed self-administered questionnaires, comprising measures of psychosocial distress and positive psychosocial well-being.
Results.This study demonstrated that parents of children with CP have significantly poorer psychosocial well-being compared with parents of children without a LTHC: parents of children with CP had lower satisfaction with life and higher levels of anxious and depressed mood.
Conclusions.These results suggest caring for a child with CP may put parents at risk from poor psychosocial well-being. Interventions to improve parental well-being are urgently needed.