Quality of life (QoL) has not been studied up to now in single parents of children with cystic fibrosis (CF). We hypothesized lower QoL compared to parents living together with a partner. We explored whether single parents benefit in a comparable manner from a family-oriented inpatient rehabilitation (FOR) program provided in Germany.
260 parents of a child with CF (0–17 years), 40 of them single parents, were included. Their QoL was compared to partnered parents using Student’s t test for independent samples. The positive impact of the FOR program on parents’ QoL was examined in a subgroup of n = 56 parents using a 2 × 2 analysis of variance with repeated measures on discharge and 6 months later.
Single parents reported significantly lower QoL (M = 54.89; SD = 12.44) than partnered parents (M = 61.55; SD = 15.43; t(258) = −2.581; p = .010). Age of the child or employment status did not impact that difference. In the short term they benefit less from a FOR program than partnered parents (group × time effect: F(1) = 4.832; p = .032), but this was no longer the case at the 6-month follow-up (group × time effect: F(1) = 1.443; p = .235).
Single parents are at risk of lower QoL. CF care teams should help these parents in particular when it comes to accessing social support.