Compromised Indices of Quality of Life Among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Oman: A Case-Control Study
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) usually face many obstacles ranging from psychological to financial difficulties while caring for their children. The consistent exposure to these constrains might negatively affect their quality of life (QOL).
To explore indices of QOL among parents caring from children with ASD, compared to parents of non-ASD children.
A population-based case-control study was conducted among 122 ASD cases. The control groups were composed of 81 parents of children with intellectual disabilities other than ASD, and 90 parents of typically-developed children. A standardized and validated Arabic version of World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHO-QOL) has been used. The indices of QOL were collected over four domains: physical health, psychological well-being, social relationships, and overall environment.
Among parents of children with ASD, the social domain had the highest score (mean= 73), while physical domain had the lowest score (mean= 60.5). Parents of Typically developed children had the highest QOL scores whereas parents with children with ASD the lowest score of QOL. Regarding the assessment of general quality of life, parents with ASD children who considered themselves havinga good QOL were only 42%, compared to 86% and 65% of parents with typically developed and intellectual disabilities children, respectively. The differences in proportions were statistically significant (P-value = 0.03).
The study provides a heuristic evidence that QOL of parents caring for ASD is compromised compared to other parents. The most domain of QOL affected was the physical domain.