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Sickness absence in Swedish parents of children with Down's syndrome: Relation to self-perceived health, stress and sense of coherence
Department of Caring Sciences and Sociology, University of Gävle, SE-801 76 Gävle, Sweden, Unit of Paediatrics, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Welfare and Care (IVV), Self-Care and Learning.
Annerén, G., Unit of Clinical Genetics, Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, ISSN 0964-2633, Vol. 50, no 7, 546-552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The aims of present study were to study sickness absence among Swedish parents of children with Down's syndrome (DS) and to compare their rates of absence with those of control parents. Sickness absence data for 165 DS parents were compared with those for 174 control parents, all data were for the period 1997-2000. Sickness absence rates were also related to parental self-perceived health, stress and sense of coherence. Methods: The self-administrated measures of parental self-perceived health, stress and sense of coherence were compared with the number of days of sickness absence. Results: In about two-thirds of the parents in both the study and the control group, no days of sickness absence were registered. Six of the DS parents had remarkably large numbers of days of sickness absence (more than 100 per year). None of the control parents had such high sickness absence rates. It is speculated that there is a small group (less than 5%) of parents who are more vulnerable to the birth of a child with DS. Apart from these six DS parents, sickness absence was not more frequent among the DS parents than among the control parents. DS parents stayed at home to care for their sick DS child three times more often than control parents did for their non-disabled child. DS fathers took greater responsibility in the care of their temporarily sick child and stayed at home to care for the child even more often than control mothers did. DS parents with sickness periods experienced small deterioration in self-perceived health, significantly higher stress and decreased sense of coherence in comparison with parents without sickness periods. Conclusions: There was a great similarity in sick leave rates due to one's own sickness between DS and control parents, but a small group of DS parents (<5%) may be more vulnerable. DS fathers stayed at home to care for their sick DS child remarkably often. © 2006 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 50, no 7, 546-552 p.
Keyword [en]
Down's syndrome, Health, Parents, Sickness absence, Stress
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50196DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2006.00810.xOAI: diva2:271092
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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