Lives of quality in the face of challenge in Israel

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the quality of life of Israeli families raising a child with a disability while challenged with all the usual demands of family life.

Methods

Respondents were main caregivers of 103 children with disability receiving services at Beit Issie Shapiro, a service agency in Israel. The respondents completed the Family Quality of Life Survey-2006 which operationalises family quality of life (FQOL) as a construct in nine domains of family life.

Findings

The findings show an underlying pattern within the domains that define FQOL. In general, the findings indicate that the families are strongly challenged to meet the needs of a special child and raise a family meeting the needs of all its members. The respondents report that, within the limits of available opportunities, they had achieved well and they are satisfied with their attainment. In general, our findings seem to reflect in our respondents a sense of resilience and an ability to manage family challenges to achieve a reasonably high FQOL. Domains described as internal to the family were rated highly in terms of FQOL as compared to domains external to the family.

Conclusion

The Family Quality of Life Survey-2006 was found to be a valuable tool for identifying and evaluating factors that enhance FQOL. Further research is needed to develop application models for integrating this instrument into the agency's service and evaluation repertoire.

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