Background: Little is known about the influence of contextual factors such as health services characteristics on health-related quality of life (HRQL) for children with a neurological condition. To address this gap, we conducted an exploratory study of the relationship between family-centred care (FCC) and HRQL outcomes in children from neurosciences clinics in a large acute care hospital.
Methods: A total of 187 family caregivers completed questionnaires regarding their socio-demographic status, the severity of their children's condition (FIM), perceptions of their children's HRQL (PedsQL 4.0) and their experiences of FCC (MPOC-20). Hierarchical regression analyses explored the hypothesis that FCC is a significant predictor of children's HRQL, independent of illness severity.
Results: Illness severity and FCC jointly explained one-third of the variance in children's total HRQL. When FCC was controlled for illness severity, it remained a significant predictor of physical, psychosocial and total HRQL scores.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the level of FCC is positively related to paediatric HRQL independent of neurological illness severity. The implication is that the uptake of FCC practices by service providers can positively impact the quality of life of children with neurological disorders.