Objectives: Care efficiency of family can be determined by many factors such as mental and physical health status of family members and their socioeconomic situation. Raising children with disabilities is a burdening and stressful situation for their caregivers. This article examines determinants of care efficiency in a group of Polish parents raising children with developmental disorders.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in 9 Polish schools for disabled children located in Cracow. Questionnaire that included the Caregiver Burden Scale and the Scale Efficiency of Care was completed by 213 mothers and 30 fathers. During the data analysis parametric tests (e.g. ANOVA) and nonparametric tests (e.g. a Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis test) were used.
Results: Parents' care efficiency and burden of care were on an average level. Sociodemographic variables such as gender, age, place of residence, education and family structure were not related to the care efficiency. The relationship with housing and material conditions of the respondents was shown. The statistical analysis showed the relationship between the level of parents' care efficiency and all subscales of Caregiver Burden Scale. Parents who demonstrated a higher level of care efficiency experienced lower level of burden in areas such as General Strain, Isolation, Disappointment, Emotional Involvement and Environment.
Conclusions: Disability of a child reduces caring potential of a family. Parents experience more physical and mental fatigue, which aggravates their disappointment. It is important to make precise diagnosis of parents' care problems and implement an individualized program to help a family.