Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 144-151

Psychosocial burden of caregivers taking care of children in the children's emergency room of two tertiary hospitals in Southeast Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria
2 Child Survival Unit, Medical Research Council UK, The Gambia Unit, Fajara, Gambia
3 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State, Nigeria
4 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chidiebere D I Osuorah
Child Survival Unit, Medical Research Council UK, the Gambia Unit, Fajara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/SHB.SHB_47_20

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Introduction: In this study, we sought to determine the severity of caregiving burden among caregivers of children presenting to the emergency room and analyze its associated predictors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, study carried out on 332 caregivers of children admitted into the children emergency room (CHER) of two tertiary hospitals in Southeast Nigeria. A validated structured questionnaire was administered by an interviewer with the use of an interpreter where necessary. Results: A total of three hundred and thirty-two child–caregiver dyads were enrolled for this study. Fathers were 25.6%, mother 65.4%, and nonparent made up 9.0% of primary caregivers of child in index admission. The mean age of the enrolled children was 2.5 ± 1.9 years with age ranges of 1 month to 16 years. Male-to-female ratio was approximately 0.8. Two hundred and fifty-four (80.6%) of surveyed caregivers experienced high psychosocial burden. On the average, caregivers were faced with moderate burden in the CHER during care of their sick child with a mean caregiver burden score of 1.64 ± 0.67. Caregivers looking after independent children (odds ratio [OR]: 0.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.2–0.9; P = 0.05), partially dependent children (OR: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.3–0.9; P = 0.040), and those with someone assisting them in the care of admitted and/or children at home (OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.2–1.0; P = 0.050) were less likely to experience high psychosocial burden of care as compared with caregivers looking after dependent children and those with no assistance. Conclusion: There is a need to incorporate comprehensive psychosocial and instinctive support for caregivers during the care of their sick children in the emergency room.

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