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The use and impact of assistive devices and other environmental modifications on everyday activities and care in young children with cerebral palsy

Disability and Rehabilitation

Author: Østensjø, Sigrid, Carlberg, Eva Brogren, Vøllestad, Nina K
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2005


Purpose.The study describes use of assistive devices and other environmental modifications, and their impact on everyday activities and care in young children with cerebral palsy (CP). Method.Ninety-five children (55 boys, 40 girls; mean age 58 months, SD 18 months) and their parents were studied using a cross-sectional design. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) was applied to assess daily activities using the three measurement scales: functional skills, caregiver assistance, and modifications of the environment. Use of modifications was described related to the five severity levels of the Gross Motor Function Classifications System (GMFCS). Impact was rated on the Caregiver Assistance scale of the PEDI and on a five-point Likert scale. Results.Out of the 1075 provided environmental modifications, 980 were in regular use to support mobility, self-care and social function among 84 children. The number increased with GMFCS levels; children at levels IV and V used 80% of the modifications, with large variations between the children at same level. Adaptations of housing and transportation facilitated effective use of assistive devices. Half of the parents rated the modifications to have moderate to very large effect on the child's mobility, 25% on self-care skills, and 20% on social function. Furthermore, 65% reported that the modifications lightened the caregiving for mobility, 75% for self-care and 25% for social function. Functional independence and care demands often benefited from different types of modifications. Conclusion.The variations in use and benefits of environmental modifications indicate need of comprehensive assistive technology assessments, including child factors, family factors, technology factors and service system factors. Read More:

Further Details

Full Title: Disability and Rehabilitation
Pages: 849-861
Volume: 27
Issue: 14
Electronic Resource Number: doi:10.1080/09638280400018619
Reads: 95