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The impact of pediatric tracheostomy on the quality of life of caregivers

Objective: Pediatric tracheostomy is a challenge in otolaryngology practice and it is associated with greater morbidity and mortality than in adults; hence, constant vigilance by the designated family caregiver is critical. This study was designed to assess the impact of on quality of life of caregivers in a homecare setting as a result of the presence of child with a tracheostomy. Methods: This was a combined retrospective and prospective cohort study with caregivers of children younger than 16 years who had undergone a tracheostomy, had been discharged home with a tracheostomy tube and completed 6 months of domiciliary tracheostomy care. The consenting primary caregivers were assessed for their quality of life based on the PedsQL v 4.0 questionnaires across various domains. Results: We identified the primary caregivers of 85 children who had undergone a tracheostomy during the study period. The children's median age was 3.5 years (range, 9 months to 14 years). The mean caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQOL) score was 59.3, the mean family functioning score was 62.8, and the mean total family impact score was 54.7 with relative deficits seen in caregiver's social functioning (56.9) and emotional functioning (53.2). Good or average quality of physical and social function was seen among 74 % and 65 % of caregivers respectively while only 55 % were reported having good or average emotional function. Emotional disturbance, interfering with everyday family activities, and sleep disturbance were the major concerns among caregivers. Conclusion: The biopsychosocial consequences of caring for a child with a tracheostomy are profound for the family, affecting the quality of life of caregivers and adding to the emotional and social burden of the child's family. 

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
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Journal Titles
International Journal Of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
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