Quality of Life among Caregivers of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Associated Factors

Main Article Content

Natchanan Charatcharungkiat
Alisa Wacharasindhu

Abstract

Objective

: To determine quality of life among caregivers of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and associated factors.

Method :

A descriptive study was conducted in ninety six main caregivers of children with ASD aged 2-15 years who attended child and adolescent psychiatric out-patient clinic at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and Yuwaprasartwaithayopathum Hospital during July 2011 - October 2011. Data were collected through 3 types of questionnaires: 1) a questionnaire on demographic characteristics of caregiver and patient as well as ASD data 2) the WHOQOL-BREF-THAI questionnaire and 3) social support questionnaire. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and chi-square test.

Result :

Most of the caregivers were female (86.5%) with mean age of 40.6±7.9 years old. Most of them were married (79.2%), being mothers (78.1%) and having range of income of 10,001-25,000 baht/month (25.0%). About 49.0% said they had sufficient and had some savings. About 71.9% had no medical illness and 82.3% had no history of psychiatric illness. Most caregivers received moderate level of social support (67.7%). Most patients were male (90.6%) with mean age of 8.9±3.1 years old and among them 59.4% were diagnosed with autism. In addition, more than half of patients had comorbidity (52.1%) and the most common comorbid disorders were hyperactivity (41.7%) and mild mental retardation (10.4%). The overall quality of life, physical and social relationships and environment aspects among caregivers were at moderate levels of 63.5%, 52.1%, 70.8% and 75.0% of the sample respectively while the quality of life in the psychological aspect was at high level for 50.0% of the sample. Factors associated with overall quality of life are income and income sufficiency, history of psychiatric illness of the caregiver, social support and diagnosis of the child.

Conclusion :

The overall quality of life among caregivers of ASD patients was at moderate level. Factors associated with overall quality of life are income and income sufficiency, history of psychiatric illness of the caregiver, social support and diagnosis of the child. Results from this study will serve as a guide for health care providers to provide holistic care to ASD patients and their families.

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How to Cite
Charatcharungkiat, N., & Wacharasindhu, A. (2015). Quality of Life among Caregivers of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Associated Factors. Journal of the Psychiatric Association of Thailand, 58(3), 233–244. Retrieved from https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/JPAT/article/view/21134
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Original Articles