Nursing & Care


The Perceived Burdens of Chinese Mothers of Children with Mental Retardation in Hong Kong: A Qualitative Study

Wing Chi Wong. Mimi Mei Ha Tiu

Introduction: Mothers who take care of children with mental retardation (MR) experience great burden. The burdens of caring should be identified to determine individualized and suitable relieving strategies for mothers.

Aim: This descriptive qualitative study aimed at exploring the perceived burdens of Chinese maternal caregivers in Hong Kong. Content analysis was performed.

Methods: Eight maternal caregivers of moderate grade MR offspring were recruited by purposive sampling from a local community center. Face-to-face, semi-structured, individual interviews were conducted.

Results: Three themes emerged, namely, lack of acceptance, irreplaceable caregiving role, and loss of deserved life. Results revealed that the Hong Kong Chinese mothers seemed to be trapped in the perceived caregiving burden, believing that only they could fulfill the caring role for their children.

Conclusions: To relieve the burdens of mothers of children with MR, individualized and centralized support from the government and community should be implemented accordingly.