The effect of motor and functional independence of disabled children on musculoskeletal disorders in pediatric caregivers: A cross-sectional study
Care burden and musculoskeletal problems of caregivers of disabled children
Keywords:Caregivers, Caregiver burden, Disabled child, Musculoskeletal pain
Background/Aim: There are conflicting results regarding the effect of motor and functional independence levels of disabled children on the burden of care. In addition, this burden, as well as musculoskeletal problems of pediatric caregivers, has not been examined in detail. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of motor and functional levels of the disabled child.
Methods: The study was planned as a single-blind, multicenter, cross-sectional study. Children between ages 1-12 with physical disabilities from various problems, and 65 caregivers over the age of 18 who cared for them for at least 6 months, were included. Caregivers were divided into two groups, as per the BAKAS Caregiver Impact Scale score as high care burden (n = 33) or low care burden (n = 32). The motor level of the disabled child was determined by the Gross Motor Function Classification System, and the functional level of the Pediatric Functional Independence Measurement. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used to evaluate musculoskeletal problems in caregivers.
Results: There was no significant difference between the Gross Motor Function Classification System levels of children in groups (P > 0.05). The Pediatric Functional Independence Measurement scores of children in the high care burden group were significantly lower than those in the low care burden group (P < 0.05). According to a comparison of pain in parts of the body for 12 months, using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, the percentage of pain in the neck, shoulder, back, elbow, hand, hip, and foot regions of caregivers was significantly higher in the group with a high care burden (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference between percent of low back and knee pain in the last 12 months (P > 0.05). A weak positive correlation was found between the BAKAS Caregiver Impact scores and the Pediatric Functional Independence Measurement of children with disabilities (r = 0.26; P = 0.03).
Conclusion: The lower functional level of the disabled child may cause an increase in caregiver burden of both the caregivers and musculoskeletal disorders.
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