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Arch Dis Child. 1996 Feb;74(2):115-20.

The effect of a child's disability on mother's mental health.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Liverpool.


The prevalence of maternal depression was investigated in the mothers of 96 children: 30 premature infants at risk for the development of cerebral palsy; 35 premature infants considered not to be at risk for the development of cerebral palsy; and 31 healthy fullterm infants. There were equally high levels of depression in all three groups of mothers, regardless of birth status, prediction of disability, or presence of actual disability, throughout the first year of the children's lives. Depressed mothers were, however, found to have significantly more psychosocial stress. An early physiotherapy intervention had no effect on the prevalence of depression in mothers whose children were at risk for the development of cerebral palsy.

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