Lim Jing Ying1, Yong Chien Yin1 & Roslee Rajikan1
1 Dietetics Programme & Centre of Healthy Aging and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Poor adherence to dietary treatment is a common issue among IEM patients due to poor palatability of medical food, rigorous dietary regime, limited variety of food and poor self-care due to neuropsychological problem, as well as lack of social understanding and support. This study aims to determine the association between dietary adherence with the coping strategy and stress level among caregivers of patients with IEM.
A total of 66 patients diagnosed with IEM participated in the study. Dietary adherence was assessed using modified version of Malaysia Medication Adherence Assessment Tool (MyMAAT-12). Caregiver’s stress level and coping strategy were assessed using Parental Stress Scale (PSS) and Coping Self-Efficacy (CSE) questionnaire respectively.
Results & Discussion
39 (59.1%) of the participants were female while 27 (40.9%) of them were male. Most of the participants were diagnosed with aminoacidopathies (37.9%) followed by organic aciduria (36.4%) and urea cycle disorders (25.8%). Mean age of patient and caregiver were 8.07+4.79 years and 38.68+9.44 years respectively. of Out of 66 participants, only 59% (n=37) of participants had a good dietary adherence. Statistical analysis revealed that there was no significant correlation between dietary adherence with stress level (p=0.923) and also all the three domains of coping strategy: problem-focused coping strategy (p=0.316), stop unpleasant emotions and thought (p=0.204) and get supports from family and friends (p=0.350). However, stress level was negative correlated with problem-focused coping strategies (p=0.001), stop unpleasant emotions and thoughts (p<0.001) and get supports from family and friends (p<0.001).
Although dietary adherence showed no association with stress level and coping strategy among caregivers, it should be aware that poor coping strategy will result in a higher level of stress among the caregivers. Hence, future health psychology programme should be carried out in order to improve the coping strategy in to reduce stress level among caregivers of IEM patients.