What influences physiotherapy use by children with cerebral palsy?

Parkes, J; Hill, N; Dolk, H; Donnelly, M; (2004) What influences physiotherapy use by children with cerebral palsy? Child, 30 (2). pp. 151-60. ISSN 0305-1862 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2003.00399.x

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AIM: To investigate factors that influence the frequency of physiotherapy currently used by a population of children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy (CP). METHODS: A survey using a postal questionnaire was sent to 212 parents of children with moderate to severe CP. The families were identified from a geographically defined case register of children with CP in Northern Ireland (the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register). Eighty-five per cent of parents responded. One-third of parent responses regarding their child's use of physiotherapy were validated with their child's physiotherapist and the level of agreement was high. RESULTS: Ninety-four per cent (169/180) of children received conventional physiotherapy from a statutory source during the school term. Of these, 61% (104/169) used 'intense' levels of physiotherapy (defined as at least twice a week). A higher proportion of intense users were children with severe CP compared with moderate CP (69% vs. 47%; P < 0.01); with moderate intellectual impairment (IQ </= 70 > 50) compared with severe (IQ </= 50) or no intellectual impairment (IQ > 70) (81% vs. 64% vs. 39% respectively; P < 0.01) and at schools for physical disability (PD) compared with severe learning disability (SLD) or mainstream (MS) schools (82% vs. 66% vs. none respectively; P < 0.001). After controlling for severity of motor impairment and the presence and severity of intellectual impairment, children with CP at MS schools used on average significantly less physiotherapy compared with children with similar levels of motor impairment at PD schools (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Children with CP in MS schools use less physiotherapy compared with children with similar levels of disability in special schools. Organizing services around special schools may limit the degree to which children with CP and other disabilities are successfully integrated into MS education.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 14961867
Web of Science ID: 188988900007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/14982


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