For HIV-infected children, quality of caregiver relationship is crucial

Feb 05, 2010

A new study of children in Ukraine has found that for the growing number of HIV-infected children, the quality of care and the relationship between children and their caregivers play an important role in their development. Based on their findings, the researchers highlight the importance of comprehensive but focused intervention efforts to improve these relationships by changing caregivers' working schedules and providing training to enhance the stability and sensitivity of care.

Published in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development, the study was conducted by scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands. One of the researchers, doctoral student Natasha Dobrova-Krol, is of Ukrainian origin.

The researchers sought to examine the effects of and being raised in institutions on the development of 58 infected and uninfected Ukrainian 4-year-olds. Some of the children lived in institutions from shortly after birth, while others lived with their biological families.

The study found that the quality of the relationships between the children and their had a bigger impact on children's physical growth and than the presence of the HIV infection or the quality of the physical environment. In addition, the study found that for both children with and without HIV, family care, even when it was compromised, was better for children than institutional care.

"This study underscores efforts to strengthen the quality of children's relationship with caregivers as important for children infected with HIV," suggests Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, professor of child and family studies at Leiden University, who worked on the study.

"Because HIV-infected children are the least-preferred candidates for adoption or foster care, many of them will remain in rather low-quality institutions. Renovating the premises and giving them toys and learning materials has become a popular form of intervention in Eastern Europe, and it is certainly valuable. But our study shows that interventions should focus on more stable and sensitive relationships between children and their caregivers."

The researchers suggest that changing the work schedules of part-time workers enhances caregiver stability. They also developed a training program for caregivers and parents, based on feedback of videotaped interactions between adults and , that was effective in promoting basic parenting skills and, they suggest, should be tried out in orphanages.

Explore further: Condoms 'too small' for Uganda men

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kinship care more beneficial than foster care

Jun 02, 2008

Children removed from their homes after reports of maltreatment have significantly fewer behavior problems three years after placement with relatives than if they are put into foster care, according to new research at The ...

HIV-infected infants respond poorly to childhood vaccination

Dec 05, 2007

It is known that HIV-infected children who do not receive appropriate antiretroviral drugs experience immune depression, and may become susceptible to infectious diseases that would otherwise be prevented by childhood immunization. ...

Depressed caregivers hostile, not warm, to children

Mar 19, 2008

A new study in the journal Family Process reveals that caregivers with moderate to severe depressive symptoms showed greater hostility and less warmth. The study focused on caregivers of low-income children with persistent asthma ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0