Anxiety and depression in parents of children born with esophageal atresia: An international online survey study

Vuokko Wallace, Kirsi Honkalampi, Elizabeth Sheils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Caring for a chronically ill child can be stressful and requires additional care from parents. Parental mental health and stress may impact both parental and child wellbeing, leading to maladaptive parenting practices, and interference with illness management. The aim of the study was to explore the levels of anxiety and depression in parents of children born with esophageal atresia (EA) and to investigate whether parental anxiety and depression were associated with child's medical characteristics or with parental factors. Design and methods: An international online survey was developed and disseminated to parents of children born with EA, aged 0–12 years, via EA patient charity social network sites. A one-way between subjects ANOVA and post hoc statistical analyses were used to examine differences in mean scores of parental anxiety and depression between sub-groups that described child's medical characteristics and parental characteristics. Results: A total of 240 parents completed the survey from 17 different countries. Of these, nearly 70% self-reported raised levels of anxiety, whilst 38% self-reported raised levels of depression. Statistically significant differences in mean scores of parental anxiety and depression were found between sub-groups that described the child's feeding problems, parental age, and perceived support for caring, caring stress and money matters. Conclusion: Child's feeding problems related to esophageal atresia, and parental factors, such as younger age, perceived lack of support for caring, caring stress, and money worries, may contribute to the increased levels of parental anxiety and depression in parents of children born with EA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Volume60
Early online date27 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Caring stress
  • Esophageal atresia
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Online survey
  • Parental anxiety
  • Parental depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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