Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2019; 8(4):(268-318)


Assessment of Sense of Coherence among parents of children with Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disability and their perception of their child’s oral health

Anupama S. Prakash, Priya Subramaniam

Abstract

Aim: Sense of Coherence (SoC) explains why some individuals cope up with extremely stressful life conditions and stay healthy, while others become ill and diseased. The present study was carried out to assess the SoC in parents of children with Down Syndrome and intellectual disability and whether it has any impact on their perception of maintaining the oral health of their children. Material and method: The present study was conducted at various special schools in Bangalore. The study group consisted of parents of 30 children with Down Syndrome (Group I) and parents of 30 intellectually disabled children (Group II). Parents of 30 healthy children (Group I) formed the control group. All the children were aged between 10 and 15 years. Items in the SoC questionnaire were rated on a seven-point Likert scale, where participants were asked to understand each question and mark their response by circling one of the numbers from 1 to 7. The items were scored accordingly and the mean SoC score was calculated for each group using one-way analysis of variance test. Pairwise comparison of mean SoC was done between the groups using Tukey’s HSD posthoc analysis. Significance was considered at p < 0.05. Parents in each group were also asked to respond to a questionnaire comprising 22 questions, including demographic details, behavioral and attitudinal variables regarding oral hygiene practice of the child and caregiver, their dietary preference, and reason to visit a dental clinic. The groups were then compared for the variables using Chi-square test and p < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: The mean SoC value was 53.0 ± 12.0 for parents of Down Syndrome children and 52.3 ± 10.6 for parents of intellectually disabled children. Parents of healthy children had a mean SoC value of 81.0 ± 3.3. The low SoC values seen among parents had a negative impact on their perception of their child’s oral health. Conclusion: The mean SoC was found to be significantly low among parents of children with Down Syndrome and intellectual disability which had a negative impact on their perception of maintaining the good oral hygiene of their children.

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