Parenting Stress In Malaysian Parents Of Children With Thalassaemia

Mazlina Mohamed, Doris Lau Sie Chong, C-Khai Loh, Syed Zulkifli Syed Zakaria, Hamidah Alias, A Rahman A Jamal, Zarina Abdul Latiff


Introduction: Parents of children with chronic illness such as thalassaemia, experience parental anxiety as a result of multiple stressors; these parents will consequently undergo the process of coping and adjustment in order to overcome the situation. Identifying families who may require psychosocial intervention is an important step towards providing holistic management for these children.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the level of parenting stress amongst parents of children with thalassaemia. Risk factors associated with high parenting stress score were identified. Research instruments used were the Parenting Stress Index/Short Form and Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations.

Results: A total of 54 subjects were recruited. High total parenting stress score (TPSS, defined at 75th centile) for this cohort was 99.5 whereas the mean TPSS was 86.18. Overall, 24% of these parents have high TPSS. Chinese ethnicity, number of children, monthly income, task and emotion-oriented coping mechanisms were significantly associated with a high TPSS. Logistic regression analysis revealed that low task-oriented but high emotion-oriented scores were risk factors with the greatest predictive power.

Conclusion: Early recognition of parenting stress is important to identify at risk parents so that interventions such as counseling and social support may be given.

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Parenting Stress; Thalassaemia; Total Parenting Stress Score

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