The Impact of Maternal Depression on Children with Asthma
Lauren Pak and Patricia Jackson Allen
This integrative literature review focuses on the impact of maternal depression on
children with asthma. Maternal depression has a negative impact on a child’s
growth, development, behavior, mental health, safety, and health care utilization.
Mothers of children with chronic conditions such as asthma have higher rates of
depression compared to mothers of children without a chronic condition.
Research has shown that maternal depression has the potential to increase
asthma morbidity and health care utilization. In addition, mothers with depressive
symptoms report lower self-efficacy in their ability to care for their children with
asthma, which can affect their ability to manage their child’s asthma with the prescribed
medication regimen. To provide optimal care for children with asthma and
their families, pediatric care providers must perform periodic depression screening
to mothers or caregivers. Depressed mothers or caregivers of children with
asthma require care coordination and management that consists of increased
education on asthma and depression, and more frequent follow up than families
without maternal/caregiver depression. These additional care measures have
numerous positive benefits, including enhancing the quality of life in both the
child and caregiver by improving asthma management in the child and depressive
symptoms in the mother, as well as decreasing costs imposed on the economy
through reduced emergency department visits, hospitalizations, missed
work days, and missed school days.