The post NDIS environment: mothers of a child with a disability, their perspectives on health, healthy behaviours and the impact of disability.

Helen Bourke-Taylor, Kahli Joyce, Ted Brown, Dinah S. Reddihough, Jenny Ziviani

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction:Mothers are considered the primary carers and the person most knowl-edgeable within the family system. Therefore, understanding mother’s perspectives oftheir local environments, their health behaviours and how they pursue community-based health-promoting opportunities provides the first step in understanding howenvironments may be altered to enhance families’ engagement in healthy community-based activities.Objectives:To investigate relationships between subjective health, health behaviours,empowerment around childhood disability and family community engagement fromthe perspective of mothers of children with a disability/severe chronic medical condi-tion.Method:Cross sectional survey of Australian mothers (n>110) of children andyoung people with a disability responded. The survey included demographic ques-tions, Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, My FACE, empowerment and health beha-viours, and the child’s quality of life.Results:Initial data analysis revealed increased symptoms of anxiety, stress anddepression and associations between maternal health and empowerment and ratingsof involvement in family community activities. There were no differences in self-reported mental health of mothers since NDIS commenced. Further results wereunavailable at the time of abstract submission.Conclusion:Maternal wellbeing and empowerment remains a concern for serviceproviders within the newly rolled out NDIS system. As the primary service naviga-tors for their child, mothers need both good health and effective skills to organise theservice system around their child and themselves. However, the results indicate thatmany mothers are experiencing difficulties in mental health and competency interact-ing with the system. This snapshot of mother’s current status suggests that mothersare in need of tailored supports to address their own health and wellbeing. Effectivesupports for mothers may have substantial downstream benefits for children withdisabilities and families generally
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2019
EventOccupational Therapy Australia National Conference and Exhibition 2019: Together Towards Tomorrow - International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 10 Jul 201912 Jul 2019
Conference number: 28th


  • children
  • disability
  • Mothers of children with a disability

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