Illness Cognition and Family Adjustment among Parents of Children with Disabilities Attending Speech Clinics and Rehabilitation Centers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Lecturers of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University

2 Assistant Professor of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University

3 Department of Maternal and Child Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Qassim University, KSA


Background: Developmental disabilities in children alter the children’s life and that of the
family. Parents of children with disabilities may experience positive or negative beliefs and
thoughts regarding disabilities of their children that adversely impact parenting practices, children's
adjustment, and families' adjustment. Aim of the study was to assess illness cognition and family
adjustment among parents of children with disabilities attending speech clinics and rehabilitation
centers. Subjects and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted including 80
parents of children with disabilities attending Speech Therapy Clinics affiliated to Zagazig
University Hospitals and El-Ahrar Hospital. In addition to The Center of Rehabilitation affiliated to
Faculty of Disability Science and Rehabilitation, Zagazig University, Egypt. Tools: Four tools were
used to collect data. Tool I: An Interview sheet for demographic data of the studied parents and their
children, as well as medical diagnosis of children. Tool II: The Illness Cognition Questionnaire
Parent-version. Tool III: The Child Adjustment and Parent Efficacy Scale-Developmental
Disability. Tool IV: The Parenting and Family Adjustment Scale. Results: The results showed that
52.5% of parents had low level of illness cognition and poor efficacy to adjust their children’s
problems, and 73.8% of parents practiced low level of parenting and family adjustment. However,
65.0% of parents practiced low parental consistency and 63.7% practiced high coercive. Conclusion:
Parents showed low level of illness cognition regarding their children's disability with less
acceptance, less perceived benefits, and more helplessness. Children with disabilities have
emotional, behavioral and prosocial problems with low adjustment and low parental efficacy.
Parents practiced low level of parenting and family adjustment with low consistency and high
coercive. Recommendations: The present study recommended that family-based interventions
should be introduced by medical, psychological, and educational professionals as an urgent need for
parents and all family members to help empower raising a child with a disability.