International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 212

Full Length Research Paper

Socio-economic challenges of parents of children with neurological disorders: A hospital-based study in North West Nigeria

Lawal H.
  • Lawal H.
  • Paediatric Unit, Nursing Services Department, ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.
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Anyebe E. E.*
  • Anyebe E. E.*
  • Research and Training Unit, School of Nursing, ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.
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Obiako O. R.
  • Obiako O. R.
  • Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria.
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Garba S. N.
  • Garba S. N.
  • Department of Nursing Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 20 January 2014
  •  Accepted: 26 May 2014
  •  Published: 01 August 2014


Parents of children with neurological disorders face several socio-economic challenges in nurturing them. Experiences of parents in the study area have not been explored. This descriptive cross-sectional study was designed to investigate socio-economic challenges faced by parents of children with neurological dysfunctions. Paediatric Neurology Outpatient Clinic, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Shika, Zaria, Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria, a tertiary health institution was used. A convenience sample of 60 parents was obtained, from whom data were collected through an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire and in-depth interviews on nine of the parents. Sixty-one children were affected (a parent had 2). Cerebral palsy (50.8%) and seizure disorders (39.4%) were the commonest disorders found. A mean age of 5 years was identified. Male (55%) and the first-born children (44.3%) were more affected. Perceived causes identified were infection/childhood disease (65%), asphyxia (23.3%), and prolonged labour (18.3%). The major socio-economic challenges were poor social life and hampered economic status. Parents were themselves deprived of their normal social lives. Parents of children with neurologic problems were found to have faced a lot of socio-economic challenges that significantly affects the lives of both the affected children and the other siblings. Existing parental poor socio-economic status complicates these challenges. Their economic status and pursuance of family income are hampered, coupled with the high cost of managing the affected children. Social support groups for parents and the affected children should be encouraged by professional bodies, government and non-governmental organizations to enhance social relationships, while ensuring health insurance coverage for these children to reduce economic burden on their parents and enhance maintenance of the healthy status of the other children.


Key words: Socio- economic challenges, parental coping, neurological deficit, children.