, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 155-163
Date: 26 Nov 2008

The Well-Being of Parental Caregivers of Children with Activity Limitations

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Abstract

This paper describes well-being (health status/quality of life, healthcare utilization, employment, and financial status) of parental caregivers of children with activity limitations and compares their well-being to parental caregivers with children without activity limitations. Using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data from 1996 to 2001, we examined the well-being of parents of children with and without an activity limitation. Children were considered as having an activity limitation if they reported a limitation in school, play or social activities. Analyses include weighted descriptive statistics and multivariable regressions. Seventy-five percentage of parents of children with activity limitations experienced at least one adverse outcome compared to 66% of parents of children without activity limitations. Parents of children with activity limitations exhibited poorer reported quality of life as indicated by lower SF-12 physical health scores (coefficient = −2.24 CI −3.38 to −1.11) and lower EuroQol scores (coefficient = −.07 CI −.10 to −.03). Parents of children with activity limitations have slightly higher utilization of sick visits. One measure of preventive care use was not significant and one showed a slight increase in use among parents of children with activity limitations. Employment and financial outcomes were less favorable for parents of children with activity limitations. Across a variety of domains, parental caregivers of children with activity limitations are at a disadvantage compared to other parents suggesting that public and private parental supports might be helpful.