Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
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Aims: To determine changes in physical caregiving for parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) over a two-year period based on children’s gross motor function level and age.
Methods: 153 parents of children with CP rated their physical caregiving using the Ease of Caregiving for Children three times over two years. Parents and assessors classified children’s gross motor function using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Physical caregiving was compared at three test times among parents of children grouped by GMFCS level (I, II–III, and IV–V) and age (1.7–5.9 and 6–11 years) using a three-way mixed ANOVA.
Results: Among all analyses, a two-way interaction was found between children’s GMFCS level and test time on ease of caregiving, p < 0.01. Change over two-year period was found for parents of children in level I and II–III, p < 0.01, but not parents of children in levels IV–V. At each test time, parents of children in level I reported the greatest ease of caregiving followed by parents of children in levels II–III, and levels IV–V, who reported the lowest ease of caregiving, p < 0.001.
Conclusions: Findings support evaluation and monitoring of physical caregiving for parents of children with CP over time.