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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona: Study Examines Outpatient Intervention for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and colleagues evaluated the feasibility of attendance and parent satisfaction with an intensive outpatient physical and occupational therapy program for young children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and to examine changes in motor function. The pilot study was published in the journal Physiotherapy Theory and Practice.

Sixteen children with CP, age range 18–36 months, received physical and occupational therapy sessions (30 minutes each) 5 days per week for 12 weeks. Attendance rates and parent satisfaction were assessed and change in motor function was evaluated.

An average of 82 percent of scheduled outpatient physical and occupational therapies for 16 children were completed and the 11 parents who completed a questionnaire were satisfied with the therapies and with their child’s progress. Participants showed notable, statistically significant improvement across all activity-related measures.

The findings suggest an intensive protocol of outpatient therapies utilizing Perception-Action Approach was feasible for most families of young children with spastic CP to attend at the outpatient clinic location. As this was not an experimental study, no reliable conclusions related to efficacy can be made, but the promising results suggest that further research into the effectiveness of intensive protocols is worthwhile.

Feasibility of an intensive outpatient Perception-Action Approach intervention for children with cerebral palsy: a pilot study“. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2018