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Keywords:

  • cerebral palsy;
  • coping strategies;
  • mental health;
  • parents;
  • quality of life;
  • self-efficacy

Aims and objectives

To explore the quality of life and mental health of caregivers of children with cerebral palsy and to examine the impact of self-efficacy and coping strategies on these outcomes.

Background

Few studies analyse the impact of caring for a child with cerebral palsy on the caregivers' quality of life besides mental health. Also, less attention has been paid to the influence of caregiver's personal resources like self-efficacy or coping strategies on how they adjust to the child's illness and the care situation.

Design

Cross-section correlational design.

Methods

Sixty two parents of children with cerebral palsy completed measures to assess the quality of life (i.e. physical, environmental and social relationships), mental health (i.e. general mental health, depression and anxiety), self-efficacy and coping strategies.

Results

Parents of children with cerebral palsy had, in general terms, low levels of quality of life and mental health. Self-efficacy was related to most of the outcomes, whereas any of the coping strategies assessed was significantly related to the outcomes.

Conclusions

Quality of life and mental health can be affected in caregivers of children with CP. Personal resources like self-efficacy also need attention as they can help in the understanding of the differences in these outcomes and the design of effective interventions.

Relevance of clinical practice

Self-efficacy should be a key element in interventions addressed to parents of children with CP to elicit a process of empowerment that can improve the well-being of the family as a whole.