Immunology Asthma and Allergy Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences ,Tehran, Iran,
Department of Psychosomatic disease, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences ,Tehran, Iran,
Department of Immunology Asthma and Allergy, Children Hospital Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences ,Tehran, Iran,
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Background: Asthma like other chronic diseases is a stressful condition not only for children but also for their parents. Caring for a child with asthma combines the demands of parenting with the emotional and physical burdens of the child’s chronic illness. Some studies have assessed the relations between parental mental health and asthma severity in children. This study aims to evaluate the mental health of mothers of asthmatic children and associations between maternal mental health and childhood levels of asthma control. Materials and Methods: Eighty mothers with asthmatic children aged 7-12 yrs. completed a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ.28) containing questions about somatic symptoms, anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression. Level of asthma control in children was classified as “well controlled”,” partly controlled” and “uncontrolled” by an asthma specialist. Results: The results showed that mothers of asthmatic children reported the depression symptoms significantly more than the community cut-off point (p <0.001); also GHQ scores were not significantly different in three levels of asthma control in children (i.e. well controlled, partly controlled and uncontrolled).The results revealed that caring for a child with asthma had an impact on the mother's mental health and depression was prevalent among mothers of asthmatic children. In addition, improving asthma control level did not promote maternal mental health. Conclusion: Inclusion of mental health and quality of life of parents in the classification of pediatric asthma control may be helpful. Our findings suggest that the physician's awareness of maternal depression and the presence of a psychotherapist for diagnosing and treating depression in mothers of children with asthma may be important for guiding effective interventions.