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Njoroge, R. - Kenya Registered Community Health Nurse and a Counseling Psychologist, Specialized Surgery Department, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Too, P. - Kenya Registered Nurse, Newborn Unit Pediatric Department, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Mugambi, J. W. - Registered Nurse, Director Nursing Services, Critical Care Nurse Specialist, Health Systems management specialist, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Mwenda, N. - Registered Nurse, Ward 4A Specialized Surgery Department, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Mwende, C. - Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Jumbi, T. - Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Lessan, J. - Senior Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya


Background: Anorectal malformation also refer to congenital defects mostly manifested by way of defective development of anus and rectum. Interventions to correct the anomaly can be done by way of surgical procedure. However, the surgery has always been complicated by delayed diagnosis since most of the children were discovered to have the condition while at home. As such, such delays in the diagnosis can lead to complications like distended abdomen due enlarged bowels. The psychological burden experienced by parents and caregivers of these children has continually been problematized in earlier nursing research. KNH provides medical attention to the children affected by ARM. Our study therefore investigated the psychological burden by these parents/caregivers. The study findings are hoped to be informative to the medical practitioners, parents/caregivers, policy makers in the health care sector and other stakeholders on need to put in place mechanisms to address rising incident of psychological burden which adversely affects the caregiving environment at home. Broad Objective: To find out the psychosocial burden and support for parents with children having anorectal malformations. Methodology: Cross sectional and descriptive research study. Data collection accomplished using questionnaires administered to the parents/caregivers drawn from pediatric surgical outpatient clinic and ward 4A in specialized surgery department of the Kenyatta National Hospital. Findings: Our results indicated that approximately 73% of the respondents received communication about ARM medical condition of their children from the doctors, while just over 26% of them reported that the same information was disseminated by the nurses. Additionally, a small percentage of the respondents (1.2%) received information from the counselors. On the question of psychological burden, 90% of the parent/caregivers received counseling services about the diagnosis and treatment plan upon receiving the news about what the child was suffering from. Further, approximately 88% of them were informed about the type of surgery that was to be conducted on their children. Recommendations: Establishment of organized psychological support groups to mitigate mental stress experienced by parents and caregivers of children with ARMs. To ease the financial body of the parents/caregivers, more pediatric specialized personnel need to be trained, together with an increase infrastructure in order to develop ARM surgeries at County levels which will translate to reduced financial burden to the families.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)