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Psychosocial experiences of mothers caring for children with cerebral palsy in the eThekwini district

Sibongile Seroke
Sipho W. Mkhize


Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most prevalent neurological illness in children, and it can cause permanent sensory, motor and  cognitive problems for the rest of one’s life. Raising a child with special needs necessitates extensive resources. Women in the middle and  lower income brackets are more likely to care for children with CP.

Aim: To explore and describe the psychosocial experiences of  mothers of children with CP in eThekwini.

Setting: This study was conducted at KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital and rehabilitation  centre.

Methods: The research methods were exploratory and descriptive in nature, with a qualitative approach. Purposive convenience  sampling was used to select 12 participants who were parents of children with CP under the age of 18. For data collection, semistructured  interviews were utilised. The purpose of thematic analysis is to uncover, analyse and summarise themes and patterns  within a data set. Semistructured interviews were used to collect data.

Results: The psychosocial experiences of mothers of children with  CP revealed three key themes. Themes included the burden of care, a lack of social support and the impact of children with CP on  mothers.

Conclusion: Participants whose children with CP experienced physical, emotional, psychological and social issues, including  inaccessible services and buildings and social isolation from family, friends and the community.

Contribution: This study helps to  strengthen the development and review of policies on care, support interventions and mother empowerment for children with CP.  

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848