130430 Perceptions of primary caregivers

130430 Perceptions of Primary Caregivers of Children with Disabilities in two Communities from
Sindh and Balochistan, Pakistan

Purpose: This study explored the perceptions, attitudes and practices of primary caregivers towards children with disabilities in two communities from Sindh and Balochistan, in Pakistan.
Method: 6 focus group discussions and 7 in-depth interviews were conducted with 37 women in the two communities – one urban and the other rural.

Results: Primary caregivers perceived disability as physical, functional limitations and the absence of any functional body parts. Complications during pregnancy and delivery were regarded as the major cause of disabilities. Lack of financial resources and limited access to medical and rehabilitation services were identified as the main reasons for frustration among caregivers, resulting in their giving reduced attention to the child with disability. Caregivers felt that behavioural problems of children with disabilities were a major challenge, and also limited their participation in social activities.
Conclusion and Implication: There is a need to raise awareness among the families of children with disabilities and in the community at large. Home-based community-level interventions are needed to reduce the social stigma attached to children with disabilities.
Key words: primary caregivers, urban and rural communities, childhood disabilities, knowledge and practices, home management, inclusive community.