Quality of life of parents who have children with disabilities

Cecilia Yuen Shan Leung, Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Parents who have children with disabilities are often reported to have physical and psychological distress related to caring for their children, thus affecting their quality of life (QOL). This study explored the QOL among parents who have children with or without disabilities. Methods: A total of 147 parents were recruited for the study (71 had children with disabilities and 76 had children without disabilities) using convenience sampling. The World Health Organization Quality of Life Measure Abbreviated version (WHO-QOL BREF [HK]) was used to measure the QOL among the parents (Bonomi, Patrick, Bushnell et al., 2000; Leung, Tay, Cheng et al., 1997). The Wee Functional Independence Measure was used to measure the children's levels of disabilities. Other demographic data such as financial conditions and family background were also recorded. Results: Social relationships and environmental domains of QOL differed significantly between the two groups of parents, but there were no significant differences in physical health and psychological domains of QOL between the two groups. Parental QOL and the disability levels of their children were positively correlated. Parents who have children with more severe disabilities were found to have lower scores in physical, psychological, and environmental domains. Children with severe disabilities are more physically demanding of their parents, who might feel more stress when taking care of them. Parents' physical and psychological well-being might directly affect their children. Conclusion: This study indicates the need for parental support when providing intervention to their children with disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalHong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Disabilities
  • Disabled children
  • Parent
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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