Aims and objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features of children with tracheostomy and the predictors of psychological status of their primary caregivers in order to determine the associations between the children's clinical course with their caregivers' psychological status.
Background: The caregivers of children with tracheostomy are responsible for providing basic tracheostomy care at home. All these responsibilities may be associated with significant changes in family members' lifestyles, daily routines and family dynamics.
Design: This study is a cross sectional study.
Methods: Data of the family's socioeconomic status and clinical status of children with tracheostomy were noted in four paediatric pulmonology centers. The Beck Depression Inventory, Maslach Burnout Inventory, Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale, and Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale were used for psychological measurements of the caregivers. The STROBE checklist was used for this study.
Results: Eighty-five children and their primary caregivers were enrolled in the study. The children's median age was 4.1 years. Thirty-eight of them were dependent on home ventilators. Twenty-one had bacterial colonisation. All children's primary caregivers were their mothers. Beck Depression Inventory scores of mothers of children with colonisation were higher. Number of hospitalizations in previous 6 months was related to mothers' emotional exhaustion and depersonalization scores. Duration of children's hospitalizations in previous 6 months was positively correlated to mothers' emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and Beck Depression Inventory scores.
Conclusions: Mothers of children with tracheostomy may experience psychological conditions, such as high levels of depression, burnout, burden and low levels of self-esteem. Frequent and long-term hospitalizations of children correlated with mother's depression and burnout. Therefore, primary caregivers should be evaluated and supported psychologically.
Relevance to clinical practice: Preventing mothers of children with tracheostomy from experiencing psychological conditions such as depression, burnout, burden and low self-esteem can also increase the quality of care for children.
Keywords: caregiver; child; psychology; tracheostomy.
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