Correlates of well-being in mothers of children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis.
Foster CL. Bryon M. Eiser C.
Department of Psychology, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, UK.
Fifty mothers and 44 well siblings of children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) participated in this study to identify correlates of maternal well-being. Participants completed postal questionnaires which assessed maternal well-being, problems experienced surrounding the illness and treatment and the nature of the sibling relationship. Due to the demanding nature of treatment and the fact that CF is both genetic and incurable at present we anticipate mothers of these children will experience higher levels of stress and consequently poorer well-being than the normal population. In addition, illness severity, problems with adherence to treatment, child communication, maternal support and the sibling relationship are expected to relate to maternal well-being. Mothers in this sample did not rate their well-being as any different to the normal population. Results suggest that mothers are likely to rate their own well-being as poor when they report more frequent problems surrounding the illness and treatment and well children rate their sibling relationship as having frequent disagreements and aggression. This study highlights factors that are related to maternal well-being in families where one child has CF. These mothers as a group do not appear to be experiencing more stress in their daily lives than the normal population but certain illness and family variables are related to their well-being when examining the mothers on certain dimensions.