n African Journal of Psychiatry - Children with sickle cell disease who are experiencing psychosocial problems concurrently with their mothers : a Nigerian study : original article




The objective of the study was to identify children with Sickle cell disease (SCD) who are experiencing psychosocial problems concurrently with their mothers; and comparing the dyads to determine correlation, pattern of correlation and to identify correlating or modifying factors.

The psychosocial impact of Sickle cell disease in affected children and their mothers was assessed using semi-structured questionnaire and standardized instruments (The Child Behaviour Questionnaire (CBQ) - Parents' version or Scale A2) for the children and Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ) for their mothers. Children with bronchial asthma and some with acute medical illnesses (AMI) and their mothers who were also assessed with the same instruments served as the control population.
There was significant correlation between children who were probable cases with psychological problems based on Child Behaviour Questionnaire (CBQ score of ≥7) and corresponding mothers who were probable cases with psychosocial problems based on Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ score of ≥5). Although there were some group-specific factors that influenced this pattern (child and mother having psychosocial problems concurrently) in one or 2 groups of these diseases, none cut across the 3 groups.
In psychosocial management of physical illnesses, assessment and care should include a focus on families rather than on the affected individual only. In addition, identifying emotional and social dysfunction in a family member should lead to a search in other members; in this way primary prevention or control can effectively be carried out. Finally, identifying more modifiable factors that positively influence this pattern in which child and mother experience psychosocial dysfunction concurrently should be the urgent task of future and larger studies in this environment.


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