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An exploration of paediatric physiotherapists’ views on how the activity of children with cerebral palsy affects their participation

Lear, Susan and Pickering, Dawn 2012. An exploration of paediatric physiotherapists’ views on how the activity of children with cerebral palsy affects their participation. Presented at: Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists Annual Conference, Guoman Hotel, London, UK, 9-10 November 2012.

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Objective To explore paediatric physiotherapists views about participation by children with cerebral palsy. Background to Study The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health defines participation as “involvement in life situations”1. Participation is important for children because it fosters friendships, enhances skill competencies and develops personal interests2, but studies show that children with cerebral palsy (CP) participate less frequently in many areas of everyday life than children in general3,4. Participation, especially in leisure activities, is regarded by children with CP as a key outcome5, but increased participation rarely features as a physiotherapy outcome measure2. Methodology A qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with three paediatric physiotherapists. Results The physiotherapists selected interventions to match the wishes of the child or parent, but their own preference also influenced selection, mainly targeting body functions and structure, and activity. Limited attention was given directly to participation; enhancing movement and activity was expected to translate into increased participation. There is evidence of a link between increased activity and participation2,6,7,8, but the factors that influence a child to participate are complex9. Physiotherapists can also foster participation indirectly through supporting the child, their family and carers, providing education to overcome physical limitations and barriers to participation. Clinical implications The data suggest there is a gap between current physiotherapist practice and improved participation. Increasing the support by physiotherapists to children and carers may increase participation opportunities. Further research could supply guidance on how best to foster greater participation indirectly through this increased support, and appropriate outcome measure.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
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Last Modified: 06 May 2021 08:34

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