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The health status of children with cerebral palsy can vary greatly. While some children experience healthy others children experience severe impairments and a greater number of health conditions and need long-term dependence on the family. To improve the health status of children with cerebral palsy, it is critical to estimate the effects of the factors on the child’s health. The objective of this study was to test a causal model of health status among 208 Thai children with cerebral palsy. Data were collected via eight questionnaires including a demographic data questionnaire, the severity of disability, the Social Support Questionnaire, the Family Hardiness Index, the Access Items, the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales, the Family Management Measure, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 3.0 Cerebral Palsy Module. The hypothesized model was validated by LISREL program.
The hypothesized model (Model of Health Status of Children with Cerebral Palsy) fitted the empirical data and explained 49.9% of the variance in health status of the children. Family coping and family management had significant direct positive effects on health status; whereas, family hardiness and severity of disability had significant direct negative effects on health status. The nursing implication from this study includes developing a program focused on enhancing family coping and management to help the children improve their health status. Future studies of hardiness in Thai families are needed to fully understand the relationship between the family hardiness and the health status of children with cerebral palsy.
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