Relationship Between Families Perception of Health and Family Support in Vulnerable Children Care

Sunday, 27 July 2014: 3:55 PM

Jih-Yuan Chen, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Hong-Sen Chen, PhD
Department of Oral Hygiene, College of Dental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Meng-Chi Liu, MSN
Department of Nurisng, KaohsiungMedical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Mei-Chyn Chao, MD
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetics, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan


Background: Family support in care of vulnerable children is rarely discussed yet has a major impact on family member health. The vulnerable children care setting is characterized by a rare disease of genetic, behaviors disturbed, or disability health. Family perceptions of health in relation to various outcomes of the children have including family health and family support has not been explored exclusively in outpatient care.

Aim: First, assess families’ perception of health associate with their children in different vulnerable care.  Second, examine families’ perception of health with a defined sample of vulnerable children in psychiatric clinic, genetic counseling clinic, and muscular dystrophy institute, using the Duke Health Profile (DUKE).  Third, explore the relationship between 286 families’ perception of health and family support in vulnerable children care.


The study used secondary data to present the study aims.  An aggregated data used for this research was part of three studies funded by a southern Medical University Hospital in Taiwan that constructed family health promotion model aimed at improving vulnerable children care health and family support of two clinics in one hospital and one setting in an Institute.  Multiple unit/clinic comparisons were analyzed by ANOVA. The final was explored using regression model for the data measuring by the DUKE and Family APGAR (FAPGAR).


 The sample of parents/family members/patients included family have children with muscular dystrophy attention deficiency and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and chromosomal abnormality. The Cronbach’s α of the DUKE and the FAPGAR are .71 and .88.  Significant differences between clinics/setting were noted for the subscales of physical health, mental health, perceived health, and the overall score.  Self-esteem received highest score, social health receiving the second higher score in the sample.  Significant differences between the three study period/different samples were noted for the subscales of physical health, perceived health, and the overall score (F = 5.90, 9.11, and 3.26; P = .01, .01, and .04, respectively).  Significant differences in family support score, and subscale of adaptation and partnership score were noted between setting/clinics (F = 2.57, 3.12 and .16; p = .05, .03, and .03, respectively). The final regression model, social health is predictor accounting for 31% of the variance in family support.  Adjust variance attributable to the social health was .28, which was significantly different from zero, F 10,275 = 12.09, p = .001.


The internal consistency of subscales of positive health were higher than the DMD and SMA group, the ADHD group, and in 1999 and 1997’s.  Hgher scores in subscales of negative health/ anxiety, depression, and anxiety-depression for DMD and SMA group compared with ADHD or chromosome abnormal group.  In 2007, DMD group’s caregiver perceived higher scores in physical health, perceived health, and overall health than DMD and SMA group in 2012. DMD and SMA group reported higher scores in adaptability and partnership than those ADHD group.  The results were impressive, perceived health and perceived self-esteem exists in muscular dystrophy group or ADHD were lower than the chromosome abnormal group.  DMD and SMA group reported higher scores in adaptability and partnership than those ADHD group.