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Title: Sociodemographic and health aspects of mothers in a paediatric ward
Authors: de Silva, K.S.H.
Mettananda, D.S.G.
Athauda, T.
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians
Citation: Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health. 2005; 34(4): pp.114-119
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To study a group of mothers in a paediatric ward and describe socio demographic profile, presence of existing disease, pulse and blood pressure (BP) profiles during hospital stay, psychological profile prior to admission and changes demonstrated during period of stay. METHOD: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was done in a ward at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for 6 weeks from May 2004. Five hundred mothers staying with their sick children were interviewed using a questionnaire dealing with various aspects. Mothers of children with chronic diseases needing regular admissions and those transferred to and from ward were excluded. Pulse rate and BP of mothers were recorded on admission, within 24 hours and on discharge. Psychological profile was assessed as psychological score, describing behaviour prior to admission, and acute stress score, analysing changes demonstrated during present admission. This was done using a scoring system on a standard questionnaire with 23 items and a modified one with 5 items where higher scores identified mothers reacting more to stressful situations. RESULTS: 476 (95.2%) questionnaires were analysed. Mean age of mothers was 32.1 years with a range of 17 to 52 years. 442 (92.9%) mothers had received secondary or higher education but 8 had never been to school. Monthly income was <Rs.10,000 in 296 (62.2%) families and 385 (80.9%) children were from middle and lower social classes. 117 (24.6%) mothers had preschool children at home when they were in hospital, majority of whom were looked after by grandparents. 65 (13.7%) mothers had long standing illnesses needing daily medication but only 15 (23.1%) took the drugs while in hospital. 54 (11.3%) mothers did not have anyone to confide in when they had a problem. Mean pulse rate and systolic and diastolic BP on discharge were significantly lower than the mean values on admission. Highest mean psychological score of 26.4 was found in the 21-30 year age group. Significantly higher acute stress scores were found in mothers below 30 years and in those who did not have anyone to confide in. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that mothers who play a vital role in management of their sick children are under immense stress and have their own health issues and family commitments that are mostly not appreciated or addressed. A social worker assigned to paediatric wards could provide invaluable help to mothers to cope with the stressful situation of hospitalisation of a sick child.
Description: Not Indexed
ISSN: 1391-5452 (Print)
2386-110x (Online)
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Articles

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