Impact of chronic illness in children on parental living conditions. A population-based study in a Swedish primary care district

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In a geographically defined child population aged 0-15, every twelfth child suffered from chronic illness. Their parents and randomly selected control children's parents were asked about their living conditions using questionnaires. Non-responders (30%) had the same sociodemographic profile as responders. The socioeconomic level in index families (n = 95) was lower than in control families (n = 166). Both parents worked fewer hours in index than in control families. Index mothers had more health problems and sick days than control mothers. The parents' social relations were most hampered by having children with allergic disorders or mental retardation. Despite reduced hours, more absence from work to care for sick children, and reduced leisure activities, two thirds of the parents of moderately/severely disabled children found it difficult to cater adequately to the needs of their child. A family approach is recommended to provide comprehensive care of children with chronic illness, in which both specialized and primary care are needed.


  • Lena Westbom
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


  • chronic disease, primary health care, family medicine, father, mother, living conditions, working hours, sick-leave, well-being, social support, relief care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Publication categoryResearch