2019 Volume 41 Issue 2 Pages 171-178
The number of children in Japan with disabilities who require medical care is increasing and is estimated to have reached about 17,000 in 2015. Their home care is a great burden on mothers, therefore it is presumed to be hard for the mothers to find outside employment. The aims of this survey are to clarify the working conditions of mothers of children with disabilities that require medical care, and to investigate effective social support for improving their working and economic status. We carried out an original questionnaire survey on parents of children with disabilities who were visiting the University Hospital of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan or daycare facilities in Kitakyushu City. Seventy-five parents, including 73 mothers, responded. The median age of the enrolled children with disabilities was 9 years old. Thirty-two of the mothers who responded (42.7%, median age 40) were employed, but two-thirds of them were non-regular employees. Twenty-two of the mothers had experienced a loss of work because of their children’s disabilities. There were no significant relationships among the working conditions, children’s age, size of family and household income. Almost 89% of the mothers desired to get employment for their sense of worth and economic status, but almost 11% did not. This survey clarified that the employment rate of mothers of disabled children with special care needs was low, and that most of those who were employed had non-regular employment. It is important to support the mothers in finding employment for their mental and economic status, and special attention must be paid to the diversity of their needs.