Coping strategies, stress, and support needs in caregivers of children with mucopolysaccharidosis

Amy Schadewald, Ericka Kimball, Li Ou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The mucopolysaccharidoses are a set of rare, inherited conditions that can have a catastrophic impact on those affected and their families. Because of the rarity of these disorders, little is known regarding the challenges faced by families of those affected and what coping mechanisms are commonly used. Coping is a way to manage demands that occur in one’s environment or within oneself. Medical social workers historically have facilitated this process while providing support to patients who are responding to pressures of their diagnosis and the system. A questionnaire of demographics and qualitative questions, along with the Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP) and Brief COPE, was sent by electronic survey to caregivers of children with MPS. The results of Brief COPE showed that problem-focused coping was more frequently used than emotion-focused (p < 0.001) or dysfunctional coping (p < 0.0001). Acceptance was the most frequently used coping strategy (p < 0.05). The results of PIP showed that emotionally distressing events were the most difficult (p < 0.001), while events related to medical care occurred at the highest frequency (p < 0.001). Psychosocial support provided by medical social workers significantly increased acceptance of caregivers (p = 0.04). Guidance on what to expect provided by any member of the care team increased denial (p = 0.02) and the difficulty of emotional distress (p = 0.04). This study identified commonly used coping strategies and measured stress among caregivers of children with MPS, as well as access to and use of psychosocial support services. Results highlight the urgency to improve the coverage and quality of psychosocial support and other support services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJIMD Reports
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameJIMD Reports
ISSN (Print)2192-8304
ISSN (Electronic)2192-8312

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (IRB, study #1702S0831) and supported by the National MPS Society.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SSIEM).


  • Coping
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Parental stress
  • Psychosocial support
  • Questionnaire
  • Rare disease


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