Objective: To examine parenting stress among caregivers of young children with congenital cataracts and to assess whether diagnostic and/or treatment differences are associated with differences in perceived parenting stress. Methods: Parents of 41 preschool-age children with congenital cataracts (13 with bilateral cataracts [BCCs] and 28 with unilateral cataracts [UCCs], of whom 14 were aphakic and 14 were pseudophakic) completed the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) and/or a disease-specific parental stress measure, ie, the Ocular Treatment Index (OTI). Results: The 28-item OTI had excellent internal consistency (α = 0.94) and supported three of four a priori validity hypotheses. Parents of children with congenital cataracts reported normal parenting stress levels on the PSI. Parents of children with UCCs tended to report higher levels of stress, but not significantly so, than did parents of children with BCCs. Among parents of children with UCCs, those whose children were aphakic reported higher levels of stress on the OTI and all of the PSI subscales than did parents of pseudophakic children. These differences were statistically significant for two subscales (Adaptability [P = .03] and Mood [P = .01]). Conclusions: Although parents of children with congenital cataracts generally did not report increased parenting stress levels, clinicians should be aware that parenting stress can adversely impact patients' families. We did observe higher stress levels in parents with children who had UCCs and did not receive an intraocular lens - particularly stress related to their child's reaction to sensory stimulation and mood - compared with parents of pseudophakic children. Thus, clinicians may want to consider parenting stress levels when choosing a treatment for children with UCCs, especially because such stress has been associated with poor treatment compliance for children with other chronic conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health