The family needs of parents of preschool children with cerebral palsy: the impact of child’s gross motor and communications functions.
An understanding of the needs of families of preschool children with cerebral palsy (CP) is of essential importance if efficient and cost-effective services are to be provided to them. The aims of this study were to identify the most frequently expressed needs of families with preschool children with CP; differences in the amount and types of family needs based on the child’s gross motor function and communication function level; and the impact of the child’s gross motor function and communication function level on the type and amount of family needs.
A total of 227 parents of preschool children with CP completed a modified version of the Family Needs Survey and a demographic questionnaire. Children’s gross motor function level and communication function level was classified using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS), respectively.
The total number of family needs differed based on GMFCS and CFCS levels. Children’s GMFCS and CFCS level were not significant predictors of overall family needs (adjusted R(2)=0.163). In this model the GMFCS level of children did not account for the total number of family needs, while the CFCS level did.
Child’s limitations in terms of communication and gross motor functions must be taken into consideration when planning services for families with preschool children with CP.
Received 10 January 2014, accepted 20 November 2014, available online 27 November 2014.