Characteristics of Mothers with Chronically Ill Children in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Katooa N., Shahwan-Akl L., Reece J., Jones L. K

Children are their parents’ pride and joy. Parents have hopes, dreams and expectations for their children to grow and develop in a holistic healthy manner physically, emotionally, and socially. It is an extremely vulnerable situation when the life and health of children are threatened; hence, when a child is diagnosed with a chronic condition, parents grieve for the loss of their child’s health, their expectations and dreams can be challenged, and their sense of protection, feeling of invulnerability are severely shaken. Objectives: This study focuses on Saudi parents and in particular the mothers who have children with chronic illnesses. It aimed to describe and explore the coping patterns of Saudi mothers who have chronically ill children. Method: A survey questionnaire was administered to 122 Saudi parents with chronically ill children in peadiatric wards at three public hospitals in the Jeddah region in Saudi Arabia. Demographic data, Quality of Life Scale (QOL), The General Self-efficacy scale (GSE) and Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ) were distributed to the Saudi parents with identified chronically ill children. Results: The results of the descriptive statistical analyses provided significant correlations between QOL score and GSE, between QOL and SSQ, between QOL and stress and adversity, between GES and SSQ, between stress and adversity and duration of child’s illness, and between stress and adversity and family time spent in caring activities. In addition, a nearly significant result was found between GES and stress and adversity. Conclusion: The results of the study emphasise the importance of a thorough and holistic assessment of families, their social environments and the level of support they require to assist them to cope with the chronic illness of their children.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijn.v2n1a7