Stress and its covariates in parents who have been referred to clinic with a possible diagnosis of epilepsy in their child

Holliday, Lois
Stress and its covariates in parents who have been referred to clinic with a possible diagnosis of epilepsy in their child. Master of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

[img] PDF (MPhil)
HollidayLoi_Aug2011_6573.pdf - Author Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (4MB)


Background: Parenting Stress has been found to be associated with children who have been diagnosed with epilepsy. However the percentage of parents feeling stressed differs across studies that have examined this relationship. Aims: To examine carer stress when their child has been referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with epilepsy being a suggested diagnosis. The study then aims to examine for associations between different factors and carer stress. Methods: To recruit carers of children aged 0 to 16 years of age, who have a queried diagnosis of epilepsy and have been referred to an outpatient department at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. A battery of 9 questionnaires will be given to the carer along with a demographic screen. The questionnaire battery will measure carer health-related stress and factors that may or may not affect whether stress is being felt. The factors being examined are carer’s recent health, how they cope with the potential diagnosis, the degree of control they feel they have over events, the amount of support they receive and would like to get, their family environment and their opinion of their child’s behaviour. Two questionnaires will be given to the child to measure their self-esteem, self-image and their quality of life. If they are aged 6 years only one can be completed but if aged over 6 years both questionnaires can be completed. A statistical analysis will be performed on the questionnaires completed by the carer. A Spearman’s Rank correlation will examine associations between the stress score and the scores of the other questionnaires. A Mann Whitney U test will assess for differences between questionnaire scores in those classified as either stressed or not stressed and a binary logistic regression will be used to form a model of questionnaires likely to predict higher carer stress. Results: 133 carers were approached with 60 carers giving consent, however 6 carers withdrew from the study resulting in 54 carers recruited during this study year. Results from the previous year’s recruitment were included in the analysis, bringing the total number of carers involved in the study to be 59. Both Stress questionnaires revealed high stress scores being reported by the carers. The Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP) categorised 43% of carers as being stressed, with the semi-structured stress questionnaire categorising 75% of parents being stressed. A binary logistic regression model revealed two predictive models by finding that the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) along with either the Family Needs Survey (FNS) or the Brief COPE Inventory subgroup dysfunctional coping strategy was able to predict high PIP stress scores. Conclusion: This study revealed that a high percentage of carers were experiencing stress. The binary logistic regression model suggests that the questionnaires most useful in predicting high carer stress scores were the SDQ with either the FNS or the Brief COPE Inventory. This guides future interventions as by using these questionnaires along with the PIP, carers would benefit from extra assistance can be targeted in order to prevent stress becoming problematic.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Philosophy)
Additional Information: alt_title: Health related stress measured in carers of children with possible epilepsy: interim analysis of the stress adjustment in carers of children who are newly diagnosed with epilepsy Date: 2011-08 (completed)
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2012 09:03
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:36
DOI: 10.17638/00006573