Imran Khan, Zia Ur Rehman, Abrar Khan, Muhammad Rehman, Kashif Ali Samin, Muhammad Muslim Khan

A Comparative Study on Depressive Disorders among the Mothers of Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Imran Khan, Zia Ur Rehman, Abrar Khan, Muhammad Rehman, Kashif Ali Samin, Muhammad Muslim Khan



Among many other neuro-developmental disorders, autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the major lifelong neurological disability which has a very significant impact on the life of parents. Mothers of the children having ASD suffer from many severe psychiatric conditions which includes anxiety, feeling of social isolation, social anxiety, low esteem, and depression.

Aim: The present study was designed to compare the incidence of depressive disorders particularly depression in the mothers who have children suffering from ASD with the mothers of the healthy children.

Place and Duration: Study was conducted at Saidu Group of Teaching hospital Swat and Khatak Medical center Peshawar including OPDs & Private clinics of the authors for duration one year from 1stNovember 2019 to 31st October 2020.

Methods: It is a descriptive analysis design used in data collection from the population of depressed mothers with ASD children and depressed mothers with physically and mentally healthy children at the outpatient department (OPD) of psychiatry. The total sample comprising of one hundred and fifty (N=160) that included eighty (n=80) mothers of ASD and eighty (n=80) healthy children. Purposive/Convenient sampling method was used in data collection., Mothers with ASD children were grouped in Group A while mothers of healthy children were grouped in Group B. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scale was used for assessment of Depression among the two groups. The subjects who scored points up to 10 or more were examined further for their mental state according to the DSM 5 criteria.

Results: According to the obtained results, 31 (41.3%) mothers of ASD children showed signs of depression while only 12 (16.0%) mothers of healthy children had depression. It was also observed that the rate of developing depressive disorder was quite higher in the mothers who had children suffering from ASD as compared to the mothers who had normal healthy children (p<0.001).

Conclusion: With the obtained results, it can be concluded that the ration of developing depression is very high and statistically significant in mother who have children suffering from a mental health condition particularly ASD.

Key words: Autism-spectrum disorder, Depression, Social anxiety.

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