Emotional characteristics of mothers bringing up children with arthrogryposis

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Abstract

Introduction. Arthrogryposis is a congenital disease that can cause feelings of deprivation in parents of affected children. Mothers of children with the disease may experience emotional trauma, manifested as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (a term coined by N.V. Tarabrina), anxiety and depressive manifestations. Mothers with such emotional problems may hinder the effective rehabilitation treatment of their children.

Aims. To examine the emotional characteristics of mothers of children with arthrogryposis.

Material and methods. In this study, the following methods were used: a scale that assesses the level of reactive and personal anxiety (C.D. Spielberg and J.L. Hanina); the Beck Depression Inventory; and the Gorovits Impact of Event Scale-R (N.V. Tarabrina). Case histories were also examined. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test. The study involved 58 mothers with children aged from 1 to 8 years old. Among these, 28 mothers had children suffering from arthrogryposis; the children of the remaining 30 mothers were apparently healthy.

Results. There was no difference in level of personal anxiety between the mothers of children with arthrogryposis and those with healthy children. The mothers of children with arthrogryposis suffered from severe situational anxiety and PTSD (including symptoms of intrusive invasion, avoidance, and hyper-arousal); the mothers of healthy children did not experience such emotional trauma. Mothers with negative emotional states of this kind may hinder the effective rehabilitation of their children with arthrogryposis. In such situations, the participation of a clinical psychologist who can provide the necessary psychological assistance on the basis of individual psychological diagnosis is required.

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About the authors

Galina V Pyatakova

The Turner Scientific and Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics; Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: pyatakova@yandex.ru
MD, PhD (psychology), senior research associate psychologist of the department of infantile cerebral palsy. The Turner Scientific and Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics, assistant professor of the chair of psychology extreme and crisis situations of the faculty of psychology of the Saint Petersburg State University.

Olga E Agranovich

The Turner Scientific and Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics

Email: olga_agranovich@yahoo.com
MD, PhD, professor, head of the department of arthrogryposis. The Turner Scientific and Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics

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Copyright (c) 2016 Pyatakova G.V., Agranovich O.E.

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