, Volume 75, Issue 9, pp 901-906
Date: 22 Sep 2008

Impact of an educational program on parental knowledge of cerebral palsy

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Abstract

Objectives

To investigate parental knowledge of cerebral palsy, and to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on it.

Methods

From May 2003 to April 2004, 26 parents of newly diagnosed children with cerebral palsy were interviewed. After the interview, each parent was administered a structured educational program and re-interviewed after three months. The pre and post intervention responses were compared using Chi-square test.

Results

After the intervention, there was a significant improvement in parental knowledge: (i) of the cause of the disorder (5/26 vs 20/26, P = 0.0001), (ii) that it is non-progressive (16/26 vs 24/26, P = 0.021), (iii) that it is not curable (10/26 vs 23/26, P = 0.0005), (iv) that it is treatable (12/26 vs 24/26, P=0.0009), (v) of the frequency and duration of therapy necessary to improve functional abilities (7/26 vs 17/26, P = 0.005), and, (vi) of the importance of following up regularly with a pediatrician (17/26 vs 26/26, P = 0.003). However, there was no significant improvement in parental knowledge: (i) of the meaning of the term ‘cerebral palsy’ (0/26 vs 5/26, P = 0.060), (ii) that ‘early intervention therapy’ given by a team of therapists is its recommended therapy (18/26 v 23/26, P = 0.174), (iii) of the meaning of the term ‘early intervention therapy’ (12/26 vs 17/26, P = 0.163), and (iv) that it is preventable with good medical care (8/26 vs 10/26, P = 0.560).

Conclusion

Parental knowledge of cerebral palsy is inadequate. A single-session educational program can significantly improve parental knowledge about many ‘core basic issues’ regarding cerebral palsy.