Psychological Stress among Parents of Hearing Impaired versus Intellectually Disabled Pakistani Children

  • Nazia Firdous Speech & Language Pathologist, Government Special Education Centre, Phalia, M.B Din,
  • Nazia Mumtaz Department of SLP & Hearing Sciences, Isra Institute of Rehab Sciences, Isra University, Islamabad
  • Ghulam Saqulain Head, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Capital Hospital, Islamabad
Keywords: Hearing impairment, Intellectual disability, Psychological stress, Quality of life


Background: Parents of special children face physical, psychological and social impact of their child’s disability, including hopelessness and depression. This study is important as it will help professionals plan and provide effective coping strategies so parents could have a positive perception and behavior for disabilities (like hearing impaired and intellectual disability) in their children. The objective of this study was to analyze level of psychological stress among parents of children with hearing impaired (HI) versus intellectual disability (ID) and relationship between disability and psychological stress.
Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised of parents (n = 200) of 100 HI and 100 ID children, of both genders, aged 1 to 16 years. These were recruited by non-probability convenience sampling after taking consent from special education centers of Punjab (Pakistan), over a period of six months from May 2017 to October 2017. After collecting demographic details, quantitative assessment of parental stress was done using Parental Stress Scale (PSS). Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS v21.
Results: The sample population (n=200) consisted of 32.5% male and 67.5% female respondents, with a mean age of 41.23 ± 6.7 years. The mean of total parental psychological stress score was 61.85 ± 17.1 with significant association between disabilities (HI and ID) and psychological stress (p<0.01). In HI group, moderate psychological stress was seen (n=53, 26.5%), while in ID group, profound level of psychological stress was noted in majority (n=70, 35%) of participants.
Conclusions: Parents of both HI and ID children showed psychological stress, however, parents of ID children suffered higher level of stress.

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