Respite Care for Families of Special Needs Children: A Systematic Review

Author: Strunk, Julie

Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 22, Number 6, December 2010 , pp. 615-630(16)

Publisher: Springer

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Over the past two decades, there have been numerous technological advances, which have led to a greater survival rate among children with disabilities and complex health care needs. This has placed wide-ranging and sometimes overwhelming emotional, social, and financial stressors on the family. Ineffective support can affect the wellbeing of all family members, consequently requiring services needed to meet both their child’s and their own support needs. Provision of respite is one such service, which allows therapeutic opportunities, quality time, independence, and the living of life for all family members. A synthesis of findings from the research indicate that respite care can be an appropriate and effective intervention to decrease stress and should be used as an appropriate coping strategy for parents of children with disabilities.

Keywords: Caregiver; Children; Disabilities; Respite; Special needs; Stress

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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