Impact of emotional distress on caregivers burden among Nigerian children with Obstructive Adenotonsillar hypertrophy
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BACKGROUND: Despite the significance of the role of caregivers among children with Obstructive Adenotonsillar hypertrophy (OAT), their caregiving experience and emotional well-being are given poor attention in research, policy and service design. This study represents a novel effort sought to investigate the burden experienced by caregivers of children with OAT and the impact of emotional distress on their caregiving burden. METHODOLOGY: A total of one hundred consecutive caregivers of children with OAT were interviewed with designed socio-demographic questionnaire. This was subsequently followed by administration of General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) to ascertain emotional distress using cut-off score ≥ 3 and Zarit Caregivers Burden of care scale was used to characterize the pattern of burden experienced by these caregivers. RESULTS: In this study, the mean ages of children with OAT and their caregivers were 36.7(± 21.8) months and 34.4(± 5.4) years, respectively. The affected children were mainly males (68%), while their caregivers were predominantly females (84%). Fifty-seven percent of children with OAT were schooling but 13% of them had academic delay. Majority of the caregivers (66%) had a tertiary level of education. Of the total participants, up to 43% reported various degrees of burden of care, with majority (34%) of them reporting mild to moderate burden of care. In the same vein, 48% were emotionally distressed. Following regression analyses, emotional distress was independently associated with burden of care among participants (Odds ratio [OR]=0.108; 95% Confidence Interval [95% CI]=0.043-0.272; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Caregivers of children with OAT reported the experience of various degrees of burden, and worse among caregivers with emotional distress. Overall, the level of distress and burden observed in this study were many-fold what has been reported among caregivers of other populations of children. The results of this study support the proposal of proactive measures to address the psychosocial needs of caregivers as integral to the care of children with OAT. Further research on the well-being of caregivers is also justified.
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