Sociodemographics, Disability Factors And Family Impact Between Children With Down Syndrome And Other Children With Disabilities In Kelantan, Malaysia
Parenting a child with disability may be a source of significant stress and affects the quality of life of the parents and families. Epidemiological evidence suggest that the impact of raising a child with disability on the parental and family functioning differ depending on the nature and severity of the children’s disability. The present study was aimed to examine the sociodemographic, disability related factors, and family impact of children with Down syndrome compared with other children with disabilities (CWD). A cross-sectional study was conducted on the caregivers of children with learning disabilities in community based rehabilitation centres and schools with special education integration programme in Kelantan, Malaysia. The Malay version of PedsQLTM Family Impact Module was used to assess the family impact. Data were analysed using Independent t-test/Mann-Whitney U test and Chi-square to determine the differences between the two groups. Results show that there were significant differences between children with Down syndrome and other CWD on age, race, number of siblings, number of disabled children in the family, type of institution, and time since diagnosis. Caregivers of children with Down syndrome had significantly higher scores on Communication and Family Relationships subscales of family impact compared to caregivers of other CWD. The current study suggests that caregivers of children with Down syndrome may have better health-related quality of life and family functioning than caregivers of other CWD even though only two subscales showed statistically significant results. This study guides for future research to confirm the findings and for better planning and provision of appropriate services to the target group in Malaysia.
Index Terms—Down Syndrome, Disabilities, Health-Related Quality Of Life, Family Functioning, Family Impact