Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 2080–2088 | Cite as

Elevated Burden for Caregivers of Children with Persistent Asthma and a Developmental Disability

  • Alana D. KoehlerEmail author
  • Maria Fagnano
  • Guillermo Montes
  • Jill S. Halterman


To evaluate how having a child with both persistent asthma and a developmental disability (DD) affects caregiver burden and quality of life (QOL). 3–10 year old children with persistent asthma in urban Rochester, NY. Cross-sectional baseline survey (2006–2009). Parent report of autism spectrum disorder or other behavioral disorder requiring medication. Caregiver burden and QOL as measured by scores on previously validated depression, parenting confidence, and asthma-related QOL scales as well as an assessment of competing demands on the caregiver. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses controlling for caregiver age, education, marital status, race, ethnicity, and child asthma symptom severity. We enrolled 530 children as part of a larger study (response rate: 74; 63 % Black, 73 % Medicaid). Of this sample, 70 children (13 %) were defined as having a DD. There were no differences in asthma symptom severity between children with and without a DD diagnosis. However, even after adjusting for potential confounders, caregivers of children with a DD reported worse scores on the depression (p = .003), parenting confidence (p < .001), and competing demands (p = .013) scales and worse asthma-related QOL (p = .035) compared to caregivers of typically developing children with asthma. Despite having similar asthma symptom severity, caregivers of children with both persistent asthma and a DD diagnosis report more burden and lower QOL compared to that of caregivers of typically developing children and persistent asthma. Further attention to this subgroup is needed to promote optimal support for caregivers.


Maternal depression Parenting confidence Quality of life Developmental delay Chronic condition 



This work was supported by The National Institutes of Health (RO1 HL079954).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alana D. Koehler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Fagnano
    • 1
  • Guillermo Montes
    • 2
  • Jill S. Halterman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Children’s InstituteRochesterUSA

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