Measures for social support in raising a child with a disability : a scoping review

18 Jul 2019

BACKGROUND : The benefits of social support for caregivers raising a child with a disability have been identified in the literature. These benefits include the improvement of the mental and physical well‐being of the caregivers, improvement in caregiving styles, and overall improvement of family quality of life. Whilst the benefits of social support are widely reported, the definitions and measures of social support in the literature are varied. METHOD : A scoping review was therefore undertaken to identify and describe the tools used to measure social support of primary caregivers (i.e., parents or grandparents) raising a child (0–18 years) with a congenital disability in international studies. Ten databases were systematically searched. RESULTS : Sixteen studies were included in the review, from which nine social support measures were identified. Attributes of the measures were searched from their referenced papers and described in terms of their reported psychometric properties. CONCLUSIONS : Through the identification of the measures of social support and ensuring its accurate measurement, direction can be provided for intervention by allowing professionals to detect and address social support available. Future recommendations for research are made.