In this comparative study, self-perceived health was investigated in 165 parents of 86 children with Down's syndrome (DS), using the Swedish version of the SF-36 questionnaire. Questionnaires were mailed to parents of children with DS in a defined Swedish population. The results were compared with those in a randomised control group of parents from the Swedish SF-36 norm population. Mothers and fathers replied separately. Student's t-test with the Bonferroni correction was used for multiple statistical comparisons. The mothers of children with DS ('DS mothers') had significantly lower, less favourable scores than did the fathers of DS children ('DS fathers') in the Vitality (p < 0.0005) domain. Further, DS mothers spent significantly more time in caring for their child with DS than did the DS fathers (p < 0.0001). DS mothers also had lower scores than the mothers of the control group in the Vitality (p < 0.001) and Mental Health (p < 0.001) domains. DS fathers and control fathers differed significantly in the Mental Health domain (p < 0.002), but not otherwise. In conclusion, DS mothers showed poorer health than their spouses and the control mothers. No differences similar to those found between the DS mothers and DS fathers were observed between control mothers and control fathers.
- Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)