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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


SARI, Franciele Leiliane  and  MARCON, Sonia Silva. Participation of the family in physical therapy treatment of children with cerebral palsy. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2008, vol.18, n.3, pp. 229-239. ISSN 0104-1282.

This is a descriptive and exploratory study carried out with mothers of children aged five years or less, with diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. It aims to investigate parents' participation in the process of children's rehabilitation and their expectation regarding the treatment. Data were collected in the month of October 2006 through semi-structured interviews conducted with 28 mothers of children enrolled in a rehabilitation school. The mothers, individually (39%) or together with the fathers (32%) or other family members, are responsible for the development of physiotherapy activities at home. These are performed on a daily basis (36%) or two to three times a week (39%), usually at night and using differentiated stimuli (96%). Most mothers (79%) stated they are able to conduct all the proposed activities, and the main difficulties are related to non-acceptance on the part of the child (54%) and lack of time (21%). The expectation is that the child becomes able to walk without support (46%) and that he/she has motor independence (25%). Although in varied degrees, most of the time the professionals can count on the family's help concerning the offer of stimuli to the children. The mothers who already had several orientation sessions feel more prepared to conduct the physiotherapy activities at home. This reveals the importance of the interaction with the family. The professional needs to explain to the family the importance of the exercises even when the prognostic is limited, because the child's evolution can be surprising and, besides, this is an opportunity to develop/strengthen the bond between the family and child.

Keywords : Physiotherapy; cerebral palsy; professional-family relationship.

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