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Community Ment Health J. 2019 Feb;55(2):311-317. doi: 10.1007/s10597-018-0343-8. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

An Examination of the Relations Between Symptom Distributions in Children Diagnosed with Autism and Caregiver Burden, Anxiety and Depression Levels.

Author information

1
Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department, Medical Faculty, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdağ, Turkey. salihabaykal35@hotmail.com.
2
Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department, Samsun Mental Health and Diseases Hospital, Samsun, Turkey.
3
Sabuncuoğlu Şerefettin Training and Research Hospital, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department, Amasya University, Amasya, Turkey.
4
Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey.

Abstract

High stress levels and impairment of physical/mental health in parents can delay early and effective intervention in autism. The purpose of this study was to examine relations between the clinical characteristics of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and caregiver burden, and anxiety and depression levels. Seventy cases under monitoring at the Namık Kemal University Medical Faculty Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Polyclinic with a diagnosis of ASD, and their principal caregivers, were included in the study. The Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale were completed. At multiple regression analysis, autism symptom severity and caregiver depressive symptom levels emerged as significant predictors of total caregiver burden scores. Only the ABC language subscale score had a determining effect on caregiver burden (r = 0.51, r2 = 0.26, p = 0.04). ABC body and object use subscale scores were identified as the symptom cluster affecting depression and anxiety scores (r = 0.25, r2 = 0.06, p = 0.03 and r = 0.28, r2 = 0.08, p = 0.01). Our findings show that ASD symptom severity and depressive symptoms in the caregiver are the most important factors giving rise to the caregiver burden, and that the main ASD symptom cluster affecting the caregiver burden was problems associated with language development. Better understanding of variables impacting on the caregiver burden will increase the quality of psychosocial services for caregivers.

KEYWORDS:

ASD; Anxiety; Caregiver burden; Depression

PMID:
30334117
DOI:
10.1007/s10597-018-0343-8

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