Stress among parents of infants with neural tube defect and its associated factors

Authors

  • Nemeh Ahmad Al-Akour RN DNSc,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Maternal and Child Health Department, School of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan
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  • Yusef Saleh Khader BDS MSc MSPH MHPE FFPH ScD,

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Community Medicine, Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan
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  • Adlah Hamlan MSN

    Senior Researcher
    1. School of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan
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Correspondence: Nemeh Al-Akour, School of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid, Jordan. Email: alakour@just.edu.jo

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the stress among parents (either the mother or the father) of infants with neural tube defects (NTDs) and its associated factors. Using Parenting Stress Index–Short Form (PSI-SF), 100 parents of infants with NTDs were compared with 100 parents as a normative group. The total mean score for parents of infants with NTDs was 104.0 (standard deviation (SD) = 22.9) compared with 84.3 (SD = 18.9) for parents of infants without NTDs. Fifty-three (53.5%) parents of infants with NTDs and 15% of the control group had clinically significant high total stress score. Parents of infants with NTDs had a significantly higher score of distress in all scales of PSI-SF compared with those of infants without NTDs. Multivariate analysis found that mothers of infants with NTDs had a significantly higher average score for parental distress, parent–child dysfunctional interaction and total stress than fathers. Parents' lower education, unemployed parents and lower family income per month were significantly associated with increased parent–child dysfunctional interaction and parental distress. Parents with lower education and lower family income are in need for psychological and emotional support from health-care professionals.

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