The post NDIS environment: mothers of a child with a disability, their perspectives on health, healthy behaviours and the impact of disability.
Introduction: Mothers are considered the primary carers and the person most knowledgeable within the family system. Therefore, understanding mother’s perspectives of their local environments, their health behaviours and how they pursue community-based health-promoting opportunities provides the first step in understanding how environments may be altered to enhance families’ engagement in healthy community-based activities.
Objectives: To investigate relationships between subjective health, health behaviours,empowerment around childhood disability and family community engagement from the perspective of mothers of children with a disability/severe chronic medical condition.
Method: Cross sectional survey of Australian mothers (n>110) of children and young people with a disability responded. The survey included demographic questions, Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, My FACE, empowerment and health behaviours, and the child’s quality of life.Results:Initial data analysis revealed increased symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression and associations between maternal health and empowerment and ratings of involvement in family community activities. There were no differences in self-reported mental health of mothers since NDIS commenced. Further results were unavailable at the time of abstract submission.
Conclusion: Maternal wellbeing and empowerment remains a concern for service providers within the newly rolled out NDIS system. As the primary service navigators for their child, mothers need both good health and effective skills to organise the service system around their child and themselves. However, the results indicate that many mothers are experiencing difficulties in mental health and competency interacting with the system. This snapshot of mother’s current status suggests that mothers are in need of tailored supports to address their own health and wellbeing. Effective supports for mothers may have substantial downstream benefits for children with disabilities and families generally.
SOURCE: Bourke-Taylor, H., Joyce, K., Brown, T., Reddihough, D. S., & Ziviani, J. “The post NDIS environment: mothers of a child with a disability, their perspectives on health, healthy behaviours and the impact of disability.” Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 66(S1), 100-100, 2 Jul 2019.
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