Psychosocial burden of mothers’ care of children with autism attending Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Yaba Nigeria

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Texila American University, Guyana.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or simply autism, occupies an extreme position among childhood pathologies due to its severity, duration, and impact on the family. This descriptive study assessed the psychosocial burden of care on 60 mothers of children with childhood autism. The instrument consisted of socio-demographic characteristics, 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZCGI). Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Results indicated a significantly high level of psychological distress (51.8%) among mother of children with autism, and (30%) thirty percent of mothers of children with autism had a low burden. Bivariate analysis revealed factors that were associated with psychological distress in mother of these children were the presence of social type of impairments and a high number of impairment in the child having to cut down or give up work and a high burden score on these women believed to be a spillover from the care burden. Results also showed the number of impairments at various periods: 12 months (51.79%), 6-12 months (30.36%), and less than 6 months are (17.86%). Mothers’ employment rate was cut down to 51.9%, while 25.9% gave up their job completely. These were significantly and independently associated with psychological distress. Conclusively, the study revealed that mothers of children with autism experience significant higher levels of burden. Hence, an urgent need for the implementation of intervention programmes to reduce the burden of care among this group of mothers in Nigeria with social support and governmental assistance and approaches



Autism, Caregiver burden, Mothers, Psychosocial burden, Public health