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01-08-2017 | Uitgave 12/2017

Quality of Life Research 12/2017

Quality of life among German parents of children with cystic fibrosis: the effects of being a single caregiver

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 12/2017
Astrid Wallenwein, Mona Schwarz, Lutz Goldbeck



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.

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