Do adaptive seating devices used in the home improve the lives of young children with cerebral palsy and their families?

Do adaptive seating devices used in the home improve the lives of young children with cerebral palsy and their families?
SE RYAN MSC PENG 1, 2 KA CAMPBELLPHD2, 3, 4, PJ RIGBY MHSC1, 2, B GERMON MSW1, D HUBLEYBSC1, B CHAN1
1Bloorview Research institute, Bloorview kids rehab, Toronto, ON,
2Occopational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
3public health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada
4 Graduate Department Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada

Background/ Objective: Children with cerebral palsy (CP) typically use assistive technology (at) devices to enable or augment their functioning at home, at school, and in the community. Adaptive seating devices are AT devices to enable or augment their functioning at home, at school, and in the community. Adaptive seating devices are AT devices that many children with mobility impairments use to improve their seated postural control, activity performance, and participation in everyday activities. Although healthcare provider accept that these devices can have a positive effect on child and caregiver functioning, little empirical evidence exists to support this .the objective of this study was to estimate the parent-perceived effect of using special adaptive seating devices on the lives of their children, aged 2-7 years, with GMFCS Levels III and IV CP and families.

Design: A12-week, baseline- intervention-baseline, case design was adopted to meet the study objective .The intervention included two special-purpose seating devices-one for sitting support on a toilet(Aquanaut toileting system).

Participants and setting: Twenty-nine mothers and one father and their children with cerebral palsy (mean age 4years 6 months) participated in their own home.

Materials/method: The parent-report family impact of assistive technology scale (FIATS) was used to detect the impact of the intervention on the lives of children and their families during the study. A research occupational therapist administered the FIATS during each of four scheduled home visits –twice during the first 3- week baseline phase, once at the end of the second 3-week baseline phase. The study devices were used during the intervention phase, only.

Results: A repeated measures analysis of variance showed significant means differences among the FIATS scores (F [1.4, 40.6] =1925, P<0.0005). Post hoc paired t-tests showed significant mean difference scores between the baseline and intervention, and intervention and second baseline phases. The magnitudes of the mean change scores and qualitative reports by parents suggest that the differences detected were meaningful.

Conclusions/significance: In this study, the introduction of adaptive seating devices had a meaningful, positive impact on key aspects of child and family life; whereas, removal of the study devices showed a marked, negative effect on their lives. Environmental resources, such as adaptive seating and other AT devices, may have an important role to play in the lives of young children with physical disabilities and their families.

 
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