Do short breaks make a difference to the emotional well-being of parents raising children with developmental disabilities in rural Australia? An analysis of parent responses

Kathleen Tait, Francis Fung

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Abstract

Background This study aimed to investigate the measured impact of short breaks on the emotional well-being of rural parents who were raising a child with a developmental disability in a rural location in Australia. Method A total of 49 parents completed the Family Quality of Life survey (Beach Centre, 2005) via postal questionnaires. Seventeen of the surveyed parents volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences of using short breaks. Results While all parents reported receiving funding for some version of short break care, in over one third of the cases (n=18), parents did not find the service on offer helpful. As a result, instead of easing these rural parents’ burden, accessing short breaks had impacted quite negatively upon their emotional well- being. Conclusion Results of this study indicate that a more proactive approach to identifying and meeting the unique needs for short break support by rural parents is required.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (IJAHSS)
Volume2
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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Developmental Disabilities
Disabled Children
Parents
Quality of Life

Keywords

  • respite care
  • short breaks
  • family emotional well-being
  • developmental disabilities
  • rural Australia

Cite this

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abstract = "Background This study aimed to investigate the measured impact of short breaks on the emotional well-being of rural parents who were raising a child with a developmental disability in a rural location in Australia. Method A total of 49 parents completed the Family Quality of Life survey (Beach Centre, 2005) via postal questionnaires. Seventeen of the surveyed parents volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences of using short breaks. Results While all parents reported receiving funding for some version of short break care, in over one third of the cases (n=18), parents did not find the service on offer helpful. As a result, instead of easing these rural parents’ burden, accessing short breaks had impacted quite negatively upon their emotional well- being. Conclusion Results of this study indicate that a more proactive approach to identifying and meeting the unique needs for short break support by rural parents is required.",
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AB - Background This study aimed to investigate the measured impact of short breaks on the emotional well-being of rural parents who were raising a child with a developmental disability in a rural location in Australia. Method A total of 49 parents completed the Family Quality of Life survey (Beach Centre, 2005) via postal questionnaires. Seventeen of the surveyed parents volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences of using short breaks. Results While all parents reported receiving funding for some version of short break care, in over one third of the cases (n=18), parents did not find the service on offer helpful. As a result, instead of easing these rural parents’ burden, accessing short breaks had impacted quite negatively upon their emotional well- being. Conclusion Results of this study indicate that a more proactive approach to identifying and meeting the unique needs for short break support by rural parents is required.

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