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Open AccessArticle

Perceived Stress among Caregivers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A State-Wide Study

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Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medical Sciences, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
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Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
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Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
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Unit of Biostatistics and Research Methodology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081468
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Background: Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience increased stress and more significant negative caregiving consequences than those with typically developing children. There is a lack of studies specifically focusing on stress among caregivers with ASD children in Asian countries. The current study examines levels of perceived stress and factors associated with it among caregivers in Kelantan, Malaysia. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, the Malay version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered to 227 caregivers of children with ASD. The caregivers were recruited from ASD databases in four tertiary hospitals in Kelantan and a meeting was set up during the child’s follow-up in the clinic. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied to determine the predictors of perceived stress. Results: The mean total perceived stress score was 20.84 (4.72). This was considered higher than average. Higher perceived stress was significantly predicted among caregivers who live far from the health institution, caregivers who do not own transportation to bring the child to the treatment center, and caregivers who have an ASD child with a learning disability. Conclusion: Caregivers of an ASD child perceived significant stress while taking care of their children. Institutions should alleviate the factors that were predicted to increase the caregivers’ perceived stress to improve the quality of the lives of children and ASD families as a whole. View Full-Text
Keywords: perceived stress; caregivers; autism spectrum disorder perceived stress; caregivers; autism spectrum disorder
MDPI and ACS Style

Nik Adib, N.A.; Ibrahim, M.I.; Ab Rahman, A.; Bakar, R.S.; Yahaya, N.A.; Hussin, S.; Wan Mansor, W.N.A. Perceived Stress among Caregivers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A State-Wide Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1468.

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