Background Caring for a child who has a chronic health condition can be a difficult and demanding task. Research has shown that some parents are at an increased risk for psychosocial problems.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot Workshop designed specifically for parents of children with JIA.
Method 26 parents attended the two-day residential Workshop. The Workshop aimed to provide opportunities for parents to meet and discuss issues pertinent to caring for a disabled child. The Parents of Children With Disabilities Inventory (PCDI) was used to assess perceived disability-related stress. The PCDI comprises 4 subscales: Medical and Legal Concerns, Concerns for the Child, Concerns for the Family, Concerns for the Self. Higher scores indicate greater frequency and worry. Results were compared against a Comparison Group (CG) of 28 parents who expressed an interest in but did not attend the Workshop.
Results Median decreases in scores were significantly greater for the Workshop Group (WG) compared with the CG for Concerns for the Self (frequency) and Total frequency scores, (p = 0.020, 013, respectively). For the WG there were significant group decreases over time for Concerns for the Child (worried), Concerns for the Self (frequency), Total frequency score and Total worried score, (p = 0.023, 0.044, 0.031, 0.009, respectively).
Conclusion The finding of statistically significant improvements across a range of parental concerns is encouraging. Workshops for parents of children with JIA appear worthy of continued development and evaluation.
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