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Quality of life among Malaysian mothers with a child with Down syndrome


  • Addresses of the institutions at which the work was carried out: University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Correspondence: Chan Kim Geok, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Lot 77, Section 22, Kuching Town Land District, Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, 93150 Kuching. Sarawak, Malaysia. Email: or


The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of life (QOL) among mothers with a child with Down syndrome using The World Health Organization Quality of Life scale instrument. A convenience sample of 161 mothers was accessed through the various institutions which provide interventional or educational programmes to children with disabilities within two of the regions of the Borneo State of Malaysia (Sarawak). Nearly half of the group of mothers perceived their QOL as neither poor nor good (n = 73). An overall QOL score of 14.0 ± 1.84 was obtained. The highest and lowest domain scores were found for social relationship domain (Mean = 14.9 ± 2.1) and environmental support domain (Mean = 13.3 ± 2.1) respectively. Correlation analysis of selected background variables (i.e. locality, education, income and marital status) and overall QOL indicated rho (161) = 0.22–0.28 (P < 0.01). Inverse correlation between maternal age and overall QOL score was indicated, with rho (161) = −0.17 (P < 0.05). Linear regression analysis indicated that the combination of these few variables together accounted for 14.5% of the QOL variability in the sample. Findings point to implications for priorities of care provisions by policy-makers and care professionals in their practice.