Category: Measurement; Health Services Research
Objective : To assess the spirituality of parents of children with developmental delays and to identify the factors associated with parents' spirituality.
Design : Cross-sectional study.
Setting : Pediatric rehabilitation center, out-patient.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : 152 parents caring for children (ages 0-6 years) with developmental delays participated in this study. Convenience sample.
Interventions : Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : The Scales of Spiritual Health (SSH) is a 35-item self-report measure designed to assess five domains: demographic characteristics; search for meaning in life; interactive relationship with others; beyond self; and nature appreciation. All items were rated using a 5-point Likert scale from disagreement to agreement except for the demographic data. Examples of items include "Serving others can make me happy" and "I can get along with people easily" with scores ranging from 1, strongly disagree, to 5, strongly agree. Higher scores indicate greater spiritual beliefs. A Student's t test or one-way analysis of variance was used to determine statistical significance.
Results : Parents' average SSH score was 3.1, indicating a medium level of spirituality. The SSH score was statistically different in the following demographic factors: general health status (F = 45.23, p < .05), levels of education (F = 31.57, p < .05), attending life education courses (F = 11.43, p < .05), reading books about life education (F = 93.83, p < .05), and participation in routine exercises (t = 7.85, p < .05). There was no significant difference in gender (t = 0.13, p = .900) and having relatives with disabilities (t = -1.52, p =.132).
Conclusions : The results indicate that those parents who participate in sport or those who maintain health tend to have greater spirituality, and thus helping them to cope with daily life. Most parents don't read or attend life education related events, but parents who get involved in such activities tend to have greater spirituality. There is need to conduct spiritual assessments for all parents to determine specific supportive services. Future research should explore spirituality and its associations with parental involvement in intervention programs for children with developmental delay.
Jui-Ching Liu– Speech-Language Pathologist, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua City, Changhua
Rui-Hua Liu– Student, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung
Chih-Hsuan Chen– Clinical Fellow Speech-Language Pathologist, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua City, Changhua