Psychosocial problems among the families of children with physical special needs: A cross-sectional survey in Saudi Arabia
Keywords:Disabilities, Child, Parents, Psychological, Social, Emotional, Saudi Arabia
Background: The disability of any child affects not only the child themselves but also impacts their families. The extent of this impact can affect the family’s ability to function well and may delay the speed with which they can reach their expected outcome goals. In Saudi Arabia, very limited research has been done on the psychological aspects of being the parent of a child with a disability. Hence, this study aims to assess the psychosocial problems faced by parents of a child with a disability.
Methods: The study design of this research was a cross-sectional as well as an exploratory correlational study. The study was conducted in the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City and the Disabled Children's Association in Riyadh city. The subjects of the study were the families of 153 Saudi children.
Results: The results of the study revealed that “anxiety” was the most common psychological problem, with the highest mean (1.503). “Feeling stress as a result of carrying hardship of care” had the highest mean (1.96) among the family’s social problems. “The child’s integration in social life” had the highest mean (3.013) among perceptions on how to best care for the child, followed by “dealing with the situation in a realistic way” (2.922).
Conclusion: The study indicated the presence of anxiety and psycho-physiological symptoms for the among families of physically disabled children. Feeling stressed as a result of the increased hardship of childcare as well as the extra expenses and the absence from work were common social problems for the families. Hence, we recommend sharing both verbal and physical affection within the family, along with economic aids, support groups and educational resources.
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