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Child Care Health Dev. 1992 Sep-Oct;18(5):259-82.

Service needs of families of children with severe physical disability.

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Hester Adrian Research Centre, University of Manchester, England.


Service contacts, perceived helpfulness of services and needs for help were investigated in a sample of 107 families of young children with severe physical disability. Many families were in contact with a multiplicity of different services and overall frequency of contact was high. Despite this, there was evidence of considerable unmet need, particularly in the provision of information to families. Families with the highest levels of unmet need were likely to have experienced high levels of strain from life events and to have children with mental retardation as well as physical disability, fathers in those families were more likely to be unemployed and mothers were more likely to use passive optimism in coping with child problems. The findings indicate the importance of services which are easily accessible to parents, the provision of information to parents about such services, the co-ordination of services through a 'link' person and the accurate and individual assessment of family needs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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