Challenges of Caregivers Having Children with Autism in Kenya:Systematic Review

Brian Barasa Masaba, Jonathan Taiswa, Rose Maureen Mmusi‑Phetoe


Background: Caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is demanding,especially where access to services and support are inadequate. The present study aimed tosystematically review the challenges associated with the caregivers whose children have autism.

Materials and Methods: A systematic review design was utilized. The searches were conductedfrom February 2019 to January 2020. A qualitative analysis that was based on meta‑aggregationapproach and thematic analysis was used. Thereafter, data was presented into themes. The quality ofall included studies was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP).

Results: Thesearch generated 909 articles of which only 9 met the inclusion criteria.

The main findings werediscussed under the following three thematic domains: 1) Stigma, 2) Financial burden, and3) Caregiving burden.

Conclusions: Evidence from the data reviewed showed financial burden facedby the caregivers whose children are diagnosed with ASD. This was manifested through both directand indirect cost of treatment. Another key finding was that majority of the caregivers faced stigmafrom the community. This implies the low level of awareness of the ASD within the community. Thepresent study calls for more programs on the present research problem within the community so asto increase awareness. Furthermore, the current advocacy of Universal Health Coverage programs inthe country should incorporate ASD children.


Autistic disorder, caregivers, child, Kenya

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