How services for children with disabilities in Serbia affect the quality of life of their families.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Families that have children with disabilities face numerous difficulties related to the lack of services support, social isolation and poverty in Serbia. Mostly due to the prolonged effect of social and economic crisis, there are insufficient adequate and diverse community-based services for those families. AIMS The aim of the study was to examine the effect of newly introduced services on the quality of families' life. METHODS A pretest/posttest study was conducted at the beginning of service and one year later to evaluate the effect of services measured by Family Quality of Life Scale (Hoffman et al., 2006). The sample consists of 153 families of children with disabilities from 35 different places in Serbia. RESULTS The results show that the services generally improved the families' quality of life, particularly in the aspects targeted by services, but also had significant positive effect on family interaction and parenting. The services had the highest impact on the families that perceived the lowest life quality before using them. The life quality was improved, regardless of the type of services, but the effectiveness is affected by the severity of child disability. IMPLICATIONS The results might be useful for further steps in developing and evaluating individually and flexible tailored service that support families' needs and suits them the best.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.06.009

Cite this paper

@article{Ignjatovic2017HowSF, title={How services for children with disabilities in Serbia affect the quality of life of their families.}, author={Tamara Dzamonja Ignjatovic and Marko Milanovi{\'c} and Nevenka Zegarac}, journal={Research in developmental disabilities}, year={2017}, volume={68}, pages={1-8} }