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Caregiving for children with developmental disabilities is associated with a poor antibody response to influenza vaccination

Gallagher, Stephen and Phillips, Anna C. and Drayson, Mark and Carroll, Douglas (2009) Caregiving for children with developmental disabilities is associated with a poor antibody response to influenza vaccination. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71 (3). pp. 341-344. ISSN 0033-3174

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URL of Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/​PSY.0b013e31819d1910

Identification Number/DOI: doi:10.1097/​PSY.0b013e31819d1910

Objective: Older spousal caregivers of dementia patients have been found to show a relatively poor antibody response to medical vaccination. The present case control study compared the antibody responses to vaccination of younger parental caregivers of children with developmental disabilities and parents of typically developing children. Methods: At baseline assessment, 32 parents of children with developmental disabilities and 29 parents of typically developing children completed standard measures of perceived stress and child problem behaviours. They also provided a blood sample and were then vaccinated with the thymus-dependent trivalent influenza vaccine. Further blood samples were taken at 1- and 6-month follow-ups. Results: Relative to parents of typically developing children (mean titre = 458, SD = 155.7 at 1-month and mean titre = 265, SD = 483.0 at 6-month follow-up) caregivers (mean titre = 219, SD = 528.4 at 1-month and 86, SD = 55.0 at 6-month) mounted a poorer antibody response than controls to the B/Malaysia strain of the vaccine. It was those caregivers reporting more child problem behaviours that tended to show the weakest antibody response. Conclusion: The negative impact of caregiving on antibody response to vaccination would not appear to be restricted to older spousal caregivers, but is also evident in younger parents caring for children with developmental disabilities. The behavioural characteristics of the care recipients may be a determinant of whether or not antibody response to vaccination is compromised.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2009 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Subjects:GV Recreation Leisure
R Medicine (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ID Code:1199
Refereed:YES
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