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Time burden of caring and depression among parents of individuals with cerebral palsy

Purpose: The presence of an individual with disability in a family affects the whole family. Families of individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) experience increased psychological anxiety and financial problems; specifically, parents tend to feel time pressure and struggle to maintain their social and cultural activities.

Methods: t-Tests and ANOVA with post hoc Tukey tests were used to compare caregiving time, time pressure, and depression between parents. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the effect of caregiving time and time pressure on depression in parents.

Results: Regarding depression, 58 (38.2%) respondents scored ≥16 on the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression scale. Respondents supporting a preschool child spent more time than those supporting adults did; those supporting adults reported less time pressure than those supporting individuals of other ages. Caregiving time's effect on depression was not supported, whereas increased time pressure raised the risk of depression.

Conclusions: The frequency of depression among parents supporting individuals with CP exceeded preceding findings. Time pressure due to support appears to directly predict depression. Total time spent caring appears unrelated to depression. It is necessary to prepare various community and family support systems in order to relieve parental caregivers' burden and exhaustion. Interventions should focus on parents with higher time pressure than parents with high caregiving time. Physical and psychological difficulties experienced by parents supporting a child with a disability vary with the child's life stage, meaning that families' care burden partly depends on the age of the individual with disabilities. 

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Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Taylor & Francis
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Disability & Rehabilitation
Volume Number
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