Conference abstract

Psychosocial burden of caregivers of children attending Sickle Cell Clinic, Lagos, Nigeria, 2014

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(72).09 Apr 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.72.654
Archived on: 09 Apr 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Sickle cell anaemia, caregivers, knowledge, attitude, Nigeria
Opening ceremony

Psychosocial burden of caregivers of children attending Sickle Cell Clinic, Lagos, Nigeria, 2014

Fetuga Adedoyin1,&, Mobolanle Balogun2, Kofoworola Odeyemi2, Muhammad Balogun1, Patrick Nguku1, Olufemi Ajumobi1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Fetuga Adedoyin, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria


Introduction: Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common genetic disorder amongst the black people and one of the major chronic non-communicable diseases affecting children. Nigeria accounts for more than 100,000 new births annually. The impact on the family is worse in developing countries because of inadequate social welfare and poor access to health care services. Our objectives were to determine the knowledge and attitude of caregivers of children with SCD towards the disease and the associated psychosocial burden.

Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional study. Using a standardized SCD burden interview questionnaire, we interviewed all consecutive caregivers who presented for clinic appointment in October and November 2014 and assessed the impact on family’s finances, activities, harmony and coping ability. Eligible caregivers were those who had lived with the child for at least one year as primary caregivers. The child must have been admitted at least twice for sickle cell crisis but in steady state at the time of interview.

Results: we interviewed 216 caregivers. Overall, 160 (74.1%) had good knowledge, 208 (96.3%) had positive attitude towards SCD, 97 (91.2%) had lost income or financial benefits due to time spent caring for child; 55 (25.5%) had taken loan on account of child’s illness, 151 (70%) had neglected other family members due to child’s illness, 140 (64.8%) reported threats of separation or divorce and 173 (80.0%) reported having episodes of depression and feeling sorrowful. Having good knowledge of SCD was associated with family harmony (Odds ratio = 2.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.6 - 5.1).

Conclusion: caregivers of children with SCD experienced high psychosocial burden. This is probably due to opportunity cost of caring for the child with SCD. We therefore recommend that social welfare be provided for the caregivers, and care of these children be subsidized.