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Parental concern for clinically vulnerable child during first 18 months of the COVID pandemic

Parental concern for clinically vulnerable child during first 18 months of the COVID pandemic
Parental concern for clinically vulnerable child during first 18 months of the COVID pandemic

Background: The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have been associated with increased parental concern. The aim of this study is to explore if this increased level of concern is associated with certain individual/household characteristics or if parents adapted to the ever-changing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic over time. Methods: This prospective study explored COVID-19 concern trajectories and associated family characteristics of 765 UK parents caring for an immunosuppressed child during the first 18 months of the pandemic using growth mixture modelling. Qualitative analysis was performed to examine in more detail the source of concern. Results: Four different trajectories of parental COVID-19 concern were identified. Ongoing very high concern was associated with caring for children with nephrotic or respiratory disease; having a child on an organ transplant waiting list; residency in the North of England; or parental vocational inactivity. Explicit concerns voiced by the parents generally followed national trends, but vulnerable status specific concerns were also reported. Conclusion: Diagnosis and prescribed medication of the immunosuppressed child, geographical location, household composition, and employment status of parent were associated with the different concern trajectories. This information can be helpful in targeting psychological family care where it is most needed. Impact: Many British parents caring for a clinically vulnerable child during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic showed high levels of concern with little sign of psychological adaptation.Consistent with findings from non-vulnerable populations, parents mentioned the impact of shielding and repeated isolation on their child’s education, social life, and mental health.Unique to the clinically vulnerable population, parents were worried about child’s health status, impact of delayed healthcare, and were confused by the contradictory information received from government, doctors, and media.Psychological family care can be targeted to those parents at greater risk for high levels of concern.

0031-3998
Driessens, Corine
59335f14-4ead-4692-9969-7ed9cc1ccf08
Mills, Lynne
8f2412fd-12e7-4653-b85d-57bb56f68d01
Culliford, David
25511573-74d3-422a-b0ee-dfe60f80df87
Patel, Ravin
3e35c431-1bc5-4c69-b353-1ca3cd240c1d
Lee, Emma
0080148f-2b88-49a7-813c-22a8f06ff220
Gbesemete, Diane
45c5ae20-20f8-4bc0-b3cd-c9a102e94471
Chappell, Harry
8e90cbd3-0416-4c1f-8718-88b09dd785a9
Shaunak, Meera
8c081c66-eb60-47d2-83bb-6fa95933386d
Faust, Saul N.
f97df780-9f9b-418e-b349-7adf63e150c1
De Graaf, Hans
447e78ed-346f-45bb-9238-fce2118d5559
Driessens, Corine
59335f14-4ead-4692-9969-7ed9cc1ccf08
Mills, Lynne
8f2412fd-12e7-4653-b85d-57bb56f68d01
Culliford, David
25511573-74d3-422a-b0ee-dfe60f80df87
Patel, Ravin
3e35c431-1bc5-4c69-b353-1ca3cd240c1d
Lee, Emma
0080148f-2b88-49a7-813c-22a8f06ff220
Gbesemete, Diane
45c5ae20-20f8-4bc0-b3cd-c9a102e94471
Chappell, Harry
8e90cbd3-0416-4c1f-8718-88b09dd785a9
Shaunak, Meera
8c081c66-eb60-47d2-83bb-6fa95933386d
Faust, Saul N.
f97df780-9f9b-418e-b349-7adf63e150c1
De Graaf, Hans
447e78ed-346f-45bb-9238-fce2118d5559

Driessens, Corine, Mills, Lynne, Culliford, David, Patel, Ravin, Lee, Emma, Gbesemete, Diane, Chappell, Harry, Shaunak, Meera, Faust, Saul N. and De Graaf, Hans (2022) Parental concern for clinically vulnerable child during first 18 months of the COVID pandemic. Pediatric Research. (doi:10.1038/s41390-022-02371-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have been associated with increased parental concern. The aim of this study is to explore if this increased level of concern is associated with certain individual/household characteristics or if parents adapted to the ever-changing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic over time. Methods: This prospective study explored COVID-19 concern trajectories and associated family characteristics of 765 UK parents caring for an immunosuppressed child during the first 18 months of the pandemic using growth mixture modelling. Qualitative analysis was performed to examine in more detail the source of concern. Results: Four different trajectories of parental COVID-19 concern were identified. Ongoing very high concern was associated with caring for children with nephrotic or respiratory disease; having a child on an organ transplant waiting list; residency in the North of England; or parental vocational inactivity. Explicit concerns voiced by the parents generally followed national trends, but vulnerable status specific concerns were also reported. Conclusion: Diagnosis and prescribed medication of the immunosuppressed child, geographical location, household composition, and employment status of parent were associated with the different concern trajectories. This information can be helpful in targeting psychological family care where it is most needed. Impact: Many British parents caring for a clinically vulnerable child during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic showed high levels of concern with little sign of psychological adaptation.Consistent with findings from non-vulnerable populations, parents mentioned the impact of shielding and repeated isolation on their child’s education, social life, and mental health.Unique to the clinically vulnerable population, parents were worried about child’s health status, impact of delayed healthcare, and were confused by the contradictory information received from government, doctors, and media.Psychological family care can be targeted to those parents at greater risk for high levels of concern.

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s41390-022-02371-7 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 September 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 November 2022
Published date: 22 November 2022
Additional Information: © 2022. The Author(s).

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 473639
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/473639
ISSN: 0031-3998
PURE UUID: 57a7756f-61f8-4491-9a6d-68f8537bef60
ORCID for Corine Driessens: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3767-7683
ORCID for David Culliford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1663-0253
ORCID for Saul N. Faust: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3410-7642

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Jan 2023 17:36
Last modified: 19 Dec 2023 02:50

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Contributors

Author: Corine Driessens ORCID iD
Author: Lynne Mills
Author: David Culliford ORCID iD
Author: Ravin Patel
Author: Emma Lee
Author: Diane Gbesemete
Author: Harry Chappell
Author: Meera Shaunak
Author: Saul N. Faust ORCID iD
Author: Hans De Graaf

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