Grandparents as Babysitters; the Depression and Quality of Life among Them

Yalçın M. B., Pirdal H., Karakoç E. V., Tekin M., Şahin E. M., Öztürk O.

20th Wonca Europe Conference 2015, İstanbul, Turkey, 22 - 25 October 2015, vol.19, pp.985

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 19
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.985
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Background and AIM: As the frequency of working mothers are increasing several families demand help of their grandparents as a babysitter. The families give this decision because of financial, social or safety problems which they are facing. The aim of this study is to investigate depression and quality of life among grandparent who are looking after their grandchildren. MATERIAL-METHOD: The study is conducted by 64 volunteered family physicians in four different cities of Turkey (Izmir, Samsun, Amasya, Çanakkale). These physicians asked their enlisted population over the age of 65 to answer Beck Depression Inventory, EQ5 and General Health Score. The participants who look after their grandchildren as babysitter are accepted as study group and they filled a survey questioning the conditions how they look after their grandchild, what are their responsibilities, how much time daily they spent as a babysitter etc. RESULTS: A total of 3101 participants included into the study (Study group n= 1190, 38.3%). The participants in the study group were younger (65.39±0.1 years) than the control group (72.03±0.1 years). The grand parents were mostly look after their grand children in daytime (74.9%), they spent 81.39±60.1 hour per week for babysitting. The participants in the study group had lower EQ5 scores (7.29±2.2) compared to control group (9.08±0.4) (t=20.128, p<0.001). The control group had lower general health scores (49.79±20.1) and higher BECK depression scores (22.25±13.7) compared with the study group (66.56±18.4) and (12.96±11.84) respectively (t=20.956, p<0.001 and t=19.305, p<0.001). There was correlation between age of the participants in study group with EQ5 (r=0.279), general health score (r=-0.432), and BECK (r=0,395) (p<0.001 respectively). CONCLUSION: The grandparents had better scores for depression and general health scores although their quality of life is lower compared to the control group. More information is needed to explain this situation.
Keywords: Grandparents, babysitter, depression, quality of life, primary care