To compare the effects of goal directed functional therapy (GDT) to activity focused therapy (AT) for preschool children with cerebral palsy (CP) on everyday activities and gross motor function. Another aim was to evaluate goal attainment in the GDT group.
A prospective intervention study comparing two types of intervention carried out in ecological settings. Forty-four children with CP, (25 boys, 19 girls; mean age 4 year 1 month [SD 1 year 5 month]), Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) levels I-IV participated. Twenty-two children were recruited to the GDT group and 22 to the AT group. Outcome measures were the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), and the Gross Motor Function Measure-66. Furthermore, goal attainment scaling (GAS) was used in the GDT group. The assessments were performed before and after an intervention period of 12 weeks.
The children in the GDT group improved more in most aspects of everyday activities measured by the PEDI than the children in the AT group (p
School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University and Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cerebral palsy (CP) constitutes a substantial portion of paediatric rehabilitation, yet little is known regarding actual occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) practices. This study describes OT and PT practices for young children with CP in Quebec, Canada.
This was a cross-sectional survey. All eligible, consenting paediatric occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) were interviewed using a structured telephone interview based on vignettes of two typical children with CP at two age points--18 months and 4 years. Reported practices were grouped according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
91.9% of PTs (n=62; 83.8% participation rate) and 67.1% of OTs (n=85; 91.4% participation rate) reported using at least one standardized paediatric assessment. OT and PT interventions focused primarily on impairments and primary function (such as gait function and activities of daily living). Both professions gave little attention to interventions related to play and recreation/leisure. Clinicians reported the need for more training and education specific to CP and to the use of research findings in clinical practice.
Wide variations and gaps were identified in clinicians' responses suggesting the need for a basic standard of OT and PT management as well as strategies to encourage knowledge dissemination regarding current best practice.
The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) is a commonly used outcome measure in rehabilitation. In this study it was adapted for very young children by deleting paid/unpaid work and household management categories and having parents act as proxies to rate child performance and their own satisfaction.
To assess the internal consistency reliability, content and construct validity, responsiveness, and impact of half scores (20 not 10-point scale) of the adapted COPM.
Parent proxies of subjects aged 2 - 8 (mean 3.9) years with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy (n = 41) participating in a clinical trial. There was a total of 214 occupational performance problems for analysis and an additional 56 which had used half score ratings. Internal consistency reliability and construct validity were evaluated using Cronbach alpha statistic. Proxy views explored content validity. Responsiveness was evaluated using pre-post intervention scores and a comparison with Goal Attainment Scaling scores which were assumed to be a suitable benchmark measure. The effect of half scores was assessed by two-sample t-tests.
The COPM adaptations did not have a negative impact on internal consistency reliability as this was acceptable for performance (0.73) and satisfaction (0.83). The high Cronbach alpha scores indicated good construct validity. Content of occupations and rating approach was considered valid by proxies. Use of half scores did not result in significantly different performance ratings, but mean satisfaction ratings were significantly higher when half scores were used (p = 0.0001). This suggests that half scores may provide more precise proxy satisfaction ratings, but at the cost of rigour as internal consistency with satisfaction half scores was lower (0.63 vs. 0.82). Responsiveness to change in clinical status was demonstrated by significant pre-post scores and moderate correlations with goal attainment scores.
The adapted COPM is a psychometrically robust tool and the use of half scores is not recommended.
The aims of this study were to describe physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) services for a cohort of 399 children with cerebral palsy (CP), 2-6 years old, residing in the United States and Canada. Parents completed a services questionnaire by telephone interview. Therapists classified children's Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level. Mean minutes per month of PT and OT were greater for children receiving services in both an educational and clinic setting. Mean minutes per month of PT and OT were greater for children in levels IV-V than children in level I and greater for children in the United States than children in Canada. Parents reported that interventions focused a moderate to great extent on primary impairments, secondary impairments, activity, and structured play activities, a moderate extent on environmental modifications and equipment; and a moderate to small extent on self-care routines. The results support the importance of coordination of PT and OT services.
The over-representation of reading and spelling difficulties in children with complex communication needs has been well documented. However, most of the studies reported have indicated that at least some children using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can achieve and demonstrate effective literacy skills, highlighting the heterogeneity of this group. This paper presents findings from a cross-linguistic study of 14 Swedish and 14 Irish children with cerebral palsy who use AAC, outlining their performance on a range of phonological awareness, reading, and spelling tasks developed for the purposes of the study. All participants were referred to the study as functioning in the average range of intellectual ability. Of the 28 participants, eight were classified as good readers, on the basis of their success on tasks involving connected text; while 10 presented with single-word reading skills; and 10 were categorized as non-readers. This paper explores the similarities and differences within and across these groups, in terms of associated skills and experiences. While analyses of group data suggests some common abilities and difficulties, exploration of individual profiles highlights the heterogeneity of the participants' profiles, suggesting a need for detailed individual assessment and interventions.
Family-centred service, functional goal setting and co-ordination of a child's move between programmes are important concepts of rehabilitation services for children with cerebral palsy identified in the literature. We examined whether these three concepts could be objectively identified in programmes providing services to children with cerebral palsy in Alberta, Canada.
Programme managers (n= 37) and occupational and physical therapists (n= 54) representing 59 programmes participated in individual 1-h semi-structured interviews. Thirty-nine parents participated in eleven focus groups or two individual interviews. Evidence of family-centred values in mission statements and advisory boards was evaluated. Therapists were asked to identify three concepts of family-centred service and to complete the Measures of Process of Care for Service Providers. Therapists also identified therapy goals for children based on clinical case scenarios. The goals were coded using the components of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health. Programme managers and therapists discussed the processes in their programmes for goal setting and for preparing children and their families for their transition to other programmes. Parents reflected on their experiences with their child's rehabilitation related to family-centredness, goal setting and co-ordination between programmes.
All respondents expressed commitment to the three concepts, but objective indicators of family-centred processes were lacking in many programmes. In most programmes, the processes to implement the three concepts were informal rather than standardized. Both families and therapists reported limited access to general information regarding community supports.
Lack of formal processes for delivery of family-centred service, goal-setting and co-ordination between children's programmes may result in inequitable opportunities for families to participate in their children's rehabilitation despite attending the same programme. Standardized programme processes and policies may provide a starting point to ensure that all families have equitable opportunities to participate in their child's rehabilitation programme.
Adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) show a reduced physical activity (PA). Currently there are no interventions for adolescents with CP in this critical life phase that optimise and maintain the individuals' physical activity in the long term. To develop such a program it is important to fully understand the factors that influence physical activity behaviours in adolescents with CP. The aim of this study is to explore what makes it easy or hard for adolescents with CP to be and to become physically active.
A qualitative research method is chosen to allow adolescents to voice their own opinion. Because we will investigate the lived experiences this study has a phenomenological approach. Thirty ambulatory and non-ambulatory adolescents (aged 10-18 years) with CP, classified as level I to IV on the Gross Motor Function Classification System and 30 parents of adolescents with CP will be invited to participate in one of the 6 focus groups or an individual interview. Therapists from all Children's Treatment Centres in Ontario, Canada, will be asked to fill in a survey. Focus groups will be audio- and videotaped and will approximately take 1.5 hours. The focus groups will be conducted by a facilitator and an assistant. In preparation of the focus groups, participants will fill in a demographic form with additional questions on physical activity. The information gathered from these questions and recent research on barriers and facilitators to physical activity will be used as a starting point for the content of the focus groups. Recordings of the focus groups will be transcribed and a content analysis approach will be used to code the transcripts. A preliminary summary of the coded data will be shared with the participants before themes will be refined.
This study will help us gain insight and understanding of the participants' experiences and perspectives in PA, which can be of great importance when planning programs aimed at helping them to stay or to become physically active.
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There is a paucity of explicit literature outlining methods for single-interview studies with children, and almost none have focused on engaging children with disabilities. Drawing from a pilot study, we address these gaps by describing innovative techniques, strategies, and methods for engaging children and youth with disabilities in a single qualitative interview. In the study, we explored the beliefs, assumptions, and experiences of children and youth with cerebral palsy and their parents regarding the importance of walking. We describe three key aspects of our child-interview methodological approach: collaboration with parents, a toolkit of customizable interview techniques, and strategies to consider the power differential inherent in child-researcher interactions. Examples from our research illustrate what worked well and what was less successful. Researchers can optimize single interviews with children with disabilities by collaborating with family members and by preparing a toolkit of customizable interview techniques.
BACKGROUND: At Akershus University Hospital a new multidisciplinary team was set up to serve neurologically impaired children. We investigated how many children with cerebral palsy were referred to the team and whether referral resulted in an associated diagnosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: All children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy referred up until the end of the team's first year of full service were included. Data on birth weight and mobility were retrieved from patient files. Additional diagnoses were registered at inclusion date and two years later and compared to prevalence studies. RESULTS: 182 children had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. 41 out of 114 children (36%) in the age bracket 6-14 were described as walking without using aids. After a minimum of two years' follow-up, 80 children had no neurological or psychiatric diagnosis (except cerebral palsy). INTERPRETATION: Children with mild motor impairment were underrepresented, and associated impairments, except epilepsy, were diagnosed less often than expected.