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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-14

Psychological burden of care in parents/caregivers of children with surgical conditions – A local experience

1 Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Olumide Abiodun Elebute
Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Surulere, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_79_22

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Background: There is a paucity of literature on the psychological burden on parental caregivers of children with surgical conditions. Knowledge of the peculiar psychological challenges faced by the parents or caregivers could help to advocate for the incorporation of a psychologist or psychiatrist as part of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study over 6 months on caregivers of pediatric surgical patients at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale (ZCBS) and the General Health Questionnaire – 28 (GHQ-28) were used to obtain data on the burden of care and psychiatric morbidity. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS (version 23). A ZCBS score ≥21 and a GHQ-28 value above 4 were considered significant. Results: A total of 120 caregivers were recruited for the study. The mean GHQ score was 6.3 (standard deviation [SD] ±5.9), whereas the mean ZCBS was 24.96 (SD ± 14.67). Sixty (50.0%) caregivers had a GHQ score over 4 and 71 (59.2%) had a ZCBS score ≥21. Conclusions: The care of children undergoing surgical procedures is associated with a significant burden and psychological distress among first-degree family caregivers. There is a need for further studies to know the pattern of their psychologically ill health as this could impede their quality of care.

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