Al Awaji N, Aldhahi M, Akil S, Awad S, Mortada E
Int J Environ Res Public Health 18 (21) - [2021-10-30; online 2021-10-30]
Substantial changes in life dynamics resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could have an impact on the quality of life (QoL) of mothers of children with and without disabilities. This study compared the quality of life (QoL) of mothers of children with disabilities (MCD) to the QoL of mothers of children without disabilities (CON) in Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 lockdown. It explored mothers' concerns and the type of support they need during the quarantine. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted during the lockdown. An online questionnaire was distributed to mothers raising children with and without disabilities in Saudi Arabia. A total of 340 mothers participated in the study by completing the survey: 93 MCD and 247 CON. The QoL of MCD and CON was assessed using the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. Furthermore, detailed information was provided by the mothers regarding their needs and concerns during the lockdown. The results of the study revealed that the overall QoL was significantly higher in the CON group, compared to the MCD group, during the COVID-19 lockdown. The social well-being and environmental well-being reported by MCD were significantly lower on the total scale of the WHOQOL-BREF than those reported by the CON group. The comparison between the two groups revealed significant differences in the support required by mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a higher percentage of MCD needed emotional and psychological support, especially from family members. The major concerns reported by MCD were the deterioration of their children's medical conditions and the lack of medical supplies during the lockdown.