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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-134

Evaluation of depression and quality of life in mothers of Indian children with autism spectrum disorders

1 Sangamitra, Sahakar Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Sangamitra, Sahakar Nagar; Centre for Child Development and Disabilities, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Centre for Child Development and Disabilities, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anusha Jayaraman
Centre for Child Development and Disabilities, #202, Sackhumvit House, New BEL Road, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_51_18

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Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), especially mothers, tend to ignore or deny depression and suboptimal quality of life (QoL), and seldom seek help. In this study, we evaluated the primary caregiver depression and QoL in mothers of Indian children with ASD that are enrolled in our center for intervention programs. Methods: Children with ASD were enrolled in our center's therapist-based intervention (TI) or parent-based intervention (PI) programs. As opposed to the TI mothers, the PI mothers not only actively participated in their children's intervention but also underwent weekly sessions targeting their well-being. We assessed and compared 48 mothers (33 from TI and 15 from PI) before and at least 6 months after the start of their children's intervention programs. Results: Before the start of intervention for their children, 73% of mothers showed varying degrees of depression. At the end of 6-month intervention for their children, only 25% of mothers showed signs of depression, with no severe and extreme depression cases. Moreover, after 6 months, significant improvements were observed in 5/8 items in the short form-36 (SF-36) scale. In addition, we observed significantly better performance by PI mothers than TI mothers in 4/5 items in the SF-36 scale showing significant improvement. Conclusions: Our results showed an overall better outcome for the PI mothers than the TI mothers. This suggests that along with the positive feedback of the improvement seen in their children, additional programs specifically targeting the mental well-being of mothers would be beneficial for mothers and their children with ASD.

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