Background. The aims of the present study were to describe the change in mental health over time in a group of family caregivers with a child with intellectual disability (ID) and to explore the effect of a home care service on the psychological well-being of the caregiver. Methods. The authors identified children with ID who received home care services in the southern part of Taiwan. A total of 46 primary family caregivers (age range = 21-65 years) were recruited for the present study. The study design was a quasi-experimental follow-up analysis. The children with ID and their families regularly received home-based care. The 12-item version of the Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ) was used to evaluate the subjects' mental health at three time points: (1) baseline, (2) 3 months and (3) 9 months. The validity and reliability of the CHQ have been tested in Taiwan. The Generalized Estimating Equation was used to conduct longitudinal data analyses. Results. The authors found that the family caregivers showed a significant improvement in their mental health by month 9. Conclusions. The preliminary findings of this study accredit the effect of home care services and suggest that home care services are necessary for family caregivers.
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