A comparative study of psychological problems of children suffering from cancer, epilepsy and asthma

Ashiq Ali Shah, Azizah Othman


This study examines the psychological problems of chronically
ill Malaysian children. The sample consisted of 63 parents of children
suffering from cancer, epilepsy and asthma. The Child behavior checklist
(CBCL; Achenbach, 1991) for ages 4-18 with its subscales of internalizing,
externalizing, thought, attention and social problems was used to assess the
behavioral problems of the children as perceived by their parents. The data were collected from the pediatric outpatients and wards of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. The data were analyzed for differences between children suffering from cancer, epilepsy and asthma on the CBCL and its subscales using oneway analyses of variance. A priori comparisons were computed between one
illness and a combination of other two illnesses to substantiate the findings
of ANOVAs. The findings supported our hypothesis that children suffering
from cancer, epilepsy and asthma differed in the degree of their psychological
problems. The results demonstrated that children suffering from cancer had
more internalizing problems as compared to the children suffering from
epilepsy and asthma. The results also indicated the presence of more thought,
attention and social problems in the case of epileptic children compared to
cancer and asthmatic children. Contrary to our hypothesis, the cancer children
showed more externalizing problems than the asthmatic children.

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INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE. Print ISSN: 0128-4878 - Online ISSN: 2289-5639

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