Parental stress in families of young people with an intellectual disability: the nurses role
Browne, G & Bramston, P 1998, 'Parental stress in families of young people with an intellectual disability: the nurses role', The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 31-37.
This study examines stress in the parents of adolescents and young adults with an intellectual disability and compares it with stress reported by parents with offspring without an intellectual disability. An initial qualitative pilot study lead the authors to Baine et al's Stress Scale. The Baine et al scale is relatively new and addresses aspects of stress not previously investigated among the parents of people with an intellectual disability, namely, stress from the difficult relationship with health professionals and service providers and negative community attitudes to people with an intellectual disability. Because of the relevance to nurses, particular interest is paid to stress from the relationship parents have with health professionals and service providers. The study found significantly greater stress in the parents of young people with an intellectual disability in all aspects of stress examined, including stress from the individual with the disability, internal family stress, stress from the financial strain of having a family member with a disability, stress from community attitudes and stress perceived from the relationship with health professionals and service providers. These findings are distressing in the light of government and service agency policies of community care and independent living. This paper makes recommendations relevant to nurses and identifies difficulties for parents of young people with an intellectual disability in the implementation of current government policy.