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Functional therapy for children with cerebral palsy: an ecological approach

  • Lena Ekström Ahl (a1), Eva Johansson (a2), Tina Granat (a1) and Eva Brogren Carlberg (a3)

Abstract

The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate functional training for children with cerebral palsy (CP). The outcomes examined were goal-achievement, gross motor function, performance of everyday activities, caregiver assistance, parents' perception of family-centredness, and preschool assistants' feeling of competence in the care of the children. The outcome measures used were goal attainment scaling, Gross Motor Function Measure, Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (functional skills and caregiver assistance scales), Measure of Processes of Care, and a questionnaire. The intervention was carried out in the context of daily life settings, i.e. in an ecological framework. Fourteen children (three females, 11 males; age range 1y 6mo to 6y) with diplegia and tetraplegia, classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System levels II–V, participated in the five-month intervention. Frequency of training towards a specific goal varied between twice a day and 23 times a day, depending on the type of goal. Seventy-seven per cent of goals were fully attained. Gross motor function and performance of daily activities, including social function, improved significantly. A decrease in caregiver assistance was noted in relation to the children's mobility. Parents' perception of family-centredness improved in all domains. Furthermore, the children's preschool assistants felt more competent in their care of the children.

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Corresponding author

Child and Youth Habilitation, Box 260 74, S-750 26 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail: lena.ekstrom.ahl@lul.se

Functional therapy for children with cerebral palsy: an ecological approach

  • Lena Ekström Ahl (a1), Eva Johansson (a2), Tina Granat (a1) and Eva Brogren Carlberg (a3)

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