Quality of Life among Caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disability, and Typical Development

Omar A. Al-Farsi, Yahya M. Al-Farsi*, Marwan M. Al-Sharbati, Samir Al-Adawi, Angie Cucchi, Musthafa M. Essa*, M. Walid Qoronfleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The quality of life (QoL) of the caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities has received limited attention in emerging economies such as those of the Arabian Gulf region. Objectives: The aims of this investigation were threefold and sought to contribute to the gap in the literature by exploring the following issues in Oman: (i) to examine the socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID) and typical development (TD); (ii) to compare health satisfaction of caregivers of children with ASD, ID, and TD and (iii) to ascertain the relationship between QoL and socio-demographic factors among the families caring for children with ASD. Methods: Two-hundred and twenty caregivers seeking consultation for their children with ASD were recruited for this study, in addition to the control group (caregivers of children with ID, n= 109), and caregivers of children with TD (n= 125). The overall number of participants was 454. An Arabic version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHO QOL-BREF) was employed to measure QoL and health satisfaction. Results: Compared to the caregivers of children with ID and TD, the caregivers of children with ASD scored lower on indices of QoL and reported poorer health status. Socio-demographic factors such as higher education were associated with improved QoL, which often entailed steady employment and higher-income. Conclusions: This study suggests that poor QoL appears to be pervasive in caregivers of children with ASD in Oman. Given the increase in the reported prevalence of ASD, QoL should be considered when devising interventions and services for children presenting with these difficulties and their caregivers. This evidence-based research lays the foundation for systemic interventions and future allocation of resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Caregivers
  • Intellectual Disability
  • QoL
  • Quality of life
  • Typical Development
  • WHOQOL-BREF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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