Do parents of children with cerebral palsy express different concerns in relation to their child’s type of cerebral palsy, age and level of disability?

By Virginia Knox

The author set out to investigate the range of parents' concerns for their children with cerebral palsy (CP) and whether these changed according to type, age and level of disability. A retrospective study was undertaken, by analysing the children's past medical records. Information from a total of 170 visits were used. Searching for common themes, the author analysed the data conceptually and quantatively by using both cross-tabulation and Chi-squared tests to determine any differences.

Results identified twelve specific categories of concerns – activities of daily living; hand function; eating/drinking; floor mobility; sitting; standing/walking; transfers; stiffness; communication; therapy; visual perception; and behaviour. And significant differences were found between different ages, diagnoses and disability.

Concluding that within this sample, parents demonstrated that they have specific concerns, with clear themes emerging about parents’ concerns related to their child's diagnosis, age and level of disability.

Physiotherapy, 2007. Corrected Proof, Available online.

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