Impact of Symptoms of Maternal Anxiety and Depression on Quality of Life of Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral palsy (CP) interferes with the quality of life (QOL) of children with CP, and given that parents report having to often guide their children’s decision making, it is important to understand the psychosocial factors that have a potential influence on parent-proxy reports. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of maternal anxiety and depression symptoms on parent proxy-reported health-related QOL (HRQOL) for children with CP, while controlling other clinical and demographical variables that may have affect HRQOL.

The HRQOL scores of 97 outpatients with CP, aged 7-18 years, were assessed using the Pediatric QOL Inventory, Parent version (PedsQL-P). Each patient’s type of CP, gross and fine motor function levels, severity of intellectual disability (ID), and other clinical variables were recorded. The levels of depression symptoms in each mother were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the levels of anxiety symptoms were assessed with the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI).

According to regression analyses, male gender, severity of ID, and higher mothers’ BAI scores had negative effects on the PedsQL-P physical scores, and severity of ID and higher mothers’ BDI scores had negative effects on the PedsQL-P psychosocial scores. Regarding the determinants of total HRQOL, severity of ID, GMFCS score, and higher mothers’ BDI scores negatively impacted the PedsQL-P total scores.

The findings show significant predictor effects of the mothers’ anxiety and depressive symptoms, independent from other clinical variables, on the mother-rated HRQOL scores in children with CP.