The Impact of Child Disability Type on the Family

Authors

  • Linda L. Eddy PhD RN CPNP,

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Linda L. Eddy, PhD RN CPNP, is assistant professor at Washington State University-Vancouver in Vancouver, WA.

  • Joyce M. Engel PhD OT FAOTA

    ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Joyce M. Engel, PhD OT FAOTA, is a professor of occupational therapy at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA.


seddy@vancouver.wsu.edu.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to better understand the differential impact of specific diagnoses on outcomes in families with children who have physical disabilities and to suggest ways in which clinicians across disciplines can use that knowledge to develop and implement more individualized, evidence-based programs. Descriptive statistics, correlation, and a univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyze data gathered from a sample of 205 parents or guardians of children with physical disabilities. Findings revealed a modest effect of diagnosis type on five family outcomes. These outcomes included: (1) how parents or guardians rated their child's current health compared to 1 year before the study, (2) the degree to which the child's physical health caused worry, (3) the degree to which the child's emotional well-being or behavior caused worry, (4) the degree to which the child's health or behavior limited types of family activities, and (5) the degree to which the child's health or behavior interrupted family activities. This article presents an interprofessional model of response.

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