Background: Mucopolysaccharidosis type III (MPS III or Sanfilippo syndrome) is a lysosomal storage disease resulting in progressive neurocognitive decline during childhood and early demise. Its diagnosis may have a great impact on parents, potentially leading to psychosocial problems such as anxiety, depression, parental distress, and posttraumatic stress. Methods: Twenty-six mothers and 19 fathers of 34 Dutch MPS III patients completed the “Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale” (HADS), the “Distress Thermometer for Parents” (DT-P), and the “Self-Rating Scale for Posttraumatic Stress Disorders” (SRS-PTSD). Independent-sample T-tests and chi-square tests were used to assess differences between parents of MPS III patients and reference groups regarding anxiety and depression (HADS), distress (DT-P), and posttraumatic stress (SRS-PTSD). Results: Mothers met the criteria for clinically relevant anxiety (50%) and depression (34.6%) more frequently compared to reference mothers (p ¼ 0.001). Fathers more often met the criteria for clinically relevant depression (36.8%) compared to reference fathers (p ¼ 0.022). Clinically relevant distress was highly prevalent in mothers (84.6%) and fathers (68.4%) of MPS III patients compared to reference parents (p < 0.01). Finally, the prevalence of PTSD was strikingly higher in both mothers (26.9%) and fathers (15%) than reported in the general Dutch population (respectively, p < 0.001 and p < 0.05). Conclusions: We report a clinically relevant impact of parenting an MPS III patient on psychosocial functioning, which is demonstrated by high levels of anxiety, depression, distress, and a remarkably high prevalence of PTSD. Structural monitoring of the psychosocial functioning of MPS III parents is therefore essential and may be beneficial for the whole family.
Conijn, T., Nijmeijer, S. C. M., van Oers, H. A., Wijburg, F. A., & Haverman, L. (2019). Psychosocial functioning in parents of MPS III patients. In JIMD Reports (Vol. 44, pp. 33-41). (JIMD Reports). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/8904_2018_119