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Original Articles

Sociodemographic and health aspects of mothers in a paediatric ward

Authors:

KSH de Silva ,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
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DSG Mettananda,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
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Thamara Athauda

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Objectives To study a group of mothers in a paediatric ward and describe sociodemographic profile, presence of existing disease, pulse and blood pressure (BP) profiles during hospital stay, psychological profile prior to admission and changes demonstrated during period of stay.

Method A descriptive, cross-sectional study was done in a ward at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for 6 weeks from May 2004. Five hundred mothers staying with their sick children were interviewed using a questionnaire dealing with various aspects. Mothers of children with chronic diseases needing regular admissions and those transferred to and from ward were excluded. Pulse rate and BP of mothers were recorded on admission, within 24 hours and on discharge. Psychological profile was assessed as psychological score, describing behaviour prior to admission, and acute stress score, analysing changes demonstrated during present admission. This was done using a scoring system on a standard questionnaire with 23 items and a modified one with 5 items where higher scores identified mothers reacting more to stressful situations.

Results 476 (95.2%) questionnaires were analysed. Mean age of mothers was 32.1 years with a range of 17 to 52 years. 442 (92.9%) mothers had received secondary or higher education but 8 had never been to school. Monthly income was

Conclusions This study demonstrates that mothers who play a vital role in management of their sick children are under immense stress and have their own health issues and family commitments that are mostly not appreciated or addressed. A social worker assigned to paediatric wards could provide invaluable help to mothers to cope with the stressful situation of hospitalisation of a sick child.

Key words: Study of mothers, paediatric ward, physical health, psychological profile, reaction to stress  

doi: 10.4038/sljch.v34i4.390

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2005; 34: 114-9

How to Cite: de Silva, K., Mettananda, D. and Athauda, T., 2009. Sociodemographic and health aspects of mothers in a paediatric ward. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 34(4), pp.114–119. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v34i4.390
Published on 06 Mar 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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