Background and Aims The parents of children with cerebral palsy face several problems in meeting physical, psychological and social requirements of their children. We explored the psychosocial problems faced by the mothers of children with cerebral palsy in rural and urban settings and compared the same.
Methods Qualitative research design through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) was utilized. Two FGDs were conducted - one each at rural and urban tertiary level care hospital involving eight and six mothers respectively. Ethical clearance was obtained from Institutional Ethics Committee. The FGDs were conducted by a moderator using an FGD guide and were video recorded. Transcripts were prepared from the video recordings and were analyzed qualitatively.
Results The problems experienced by the mothers were associated with common themes such as - Disturbed social relationships, Physical problems, Moments of Happiness, Worries about future, Need for a special school, Requirement of a support group, Lack of adequate number of trained physiotherapists and Lack of government support. All the parents had children with problems since birth and most had gone to various health care providers for a cure for their child. The participants in the FGD undertaken at the urban based hospital appeared to be poorly adjusted to the problem of the child as compared to the participants in the rural based hospital.
Conclusions Current pyscho-social status of the parents should always be considered. Program planners, Hospital administrators and health care providers need to be sensitized about the perceived need of this vulnerable population.