ESPN 53rd Annual Meeting

ESPN 2021


 
Psychosocial challenges for parents of children with chronic kidney disease
ELKE DE BRUYNE 1 SUNNY ELOOT 2 JOHAN VANDE WALLE 3 ANN RAES 3 WIM VAN BIESEN 2 LIESBETH GOUBERT 4 ELINE VAN HOECKE 1 EVELIEN SNAUWAERT 3

1- Pediatric Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
2- Department of Nephrology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
3- Department of Pediatric Nephrology & Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
4- Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium
 
Introduction:

 Little is known about the impact of pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) on the parents. This study aims to explore the psychosocial functioning in this parent group.

Material and methods:

Fourthy-four parents (32 mothers) of children with CKD completed our psychosocial questionnaires. Parental stress was evaluated by the Parenting Stress Index - Short Form (PSI-SF), anxiety and depression were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The Child Vulnerability Scale (CVS) and Parent Overprotection Measure (POM) were used to explore parents’ perception of child’s vulnerability and protective behavior, respectively. A matched control group of parents of healthy children was used for comparison. 

Results:

Since the CKD diagnosis, 47% of the parents perceived a deterioration of their own health, and in 38% of the families at least one of the parents reduced work activities. Averagely parents took 17 days of work leave in the last 6 months because of the child’s treatment. Compared to our control group, parents of children with CKD reported higher stress levels (59.6 versus 43.5; p < 0.001; normal range 43 – 61) and more symptoms of anxiety (7.8 versus 5.1; p < 0.05; normal range 0-7) and depression (5.3 versus 3.7; p< 0.05; normal range 0-7). Significantly higher scores on child vulnerability perception (8.6 versus 2.5; p< 0.001) and protective behaviour (41.7 versus 36.8; p< 0.05) could be measured in parents of children with CKD.  

Conclusions:

Parents of CKD patients report more health problems and a significant professional impact. Compared to parents of healthy children, a higher presence of stress, anxiety and depression symptoms can be seen. Also, these parents perceive their child as more vulnerable and use more protective behavior towards their child. As the impact of CKD goes beyond the child and affects the entire family, a multidisciplinary family-based therapy should be recommended.