Document Type : Original Article


Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: Living with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can affect different
aspects of parents’ physical and mental health and quality of life. This study aimed to identify parents’
perceptions of their quality of life and factors influencing such perceptions and investigate how they
cope with difficulties in their daily lives.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted using a qualitative research design to gain
insight into how children with ASD may influence their parents’ quality of life. A total of 31 parents
and school counselors were selected by the snowball sampling method in autism schools in Tehran
in the academic year 2018–2019. Semi‑structured interviews were used to collect the data. Each
interview was held based on a preprepared guideline by the researchers. In‑depth questions were
also asked as needed. Finally, the data were analyzed using the content analysis approach.
RESULTS: The participants reported a variety of difficulties and crises to cope with in their daily
lives. The factors reported to decrease the quality of life were categorized into six main themes and
20 subthemes. The main themes included “family interactions,” “parenting,” “daily living,” “health,”
“financial issues,” and “community‑related.”
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the diversity and multilevel factors affecting the quality of life of parents
having children with ASD, it is essential to adopt a comprehensive approach with the participation
of all stakeholders in the development, design, and implementation of future interventions.


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