Parents' experience of undertaking an intensive cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) group for children with cerebral palsy.

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Abstract

PURPOSE

The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who participated in an intensive cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) group program addressing child chosen goals.

METHOD

Participants were six parents of children with CP who participated in a CO-OP upper limb task-specific training program. Parents participated in semi-structured interviews conducted via phone. A grounded theory approach was used. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded to identify categories and overarching themes of the parent experience of CO-OP.

RESULTS

The theory of CO-OP for children with CP was one of offering a unique and motivating learning experience for both the child and the parent, differing from other therapeutic approaches that families had previously been involved in. Five categories were identified: the unique benefits of CO-OP; the importance of intensity; the child's motivation; challenging the parent role; and the benefits and challenges of therapy within a group context.

CONCLUSION

Parents felt that CO-OP was a worthwhile intervention that leads to achievement of goals involving upper limb function and had the capacity to be transferred to future goals. Intensity of therapy and a child's motivation were identified as important factors in improvements. Further studies using quantitative research methods are warranted to investigate the benefits of CO-OP for children with neurological conditions. Implications for rehabilitation The cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) is a promising upper limb cognitive motor training intervention for children with cerebral palsy. In a small sample, parents perceived that CO-OP leads to achievement of upper limb goals. Intensity of therapy, the child's motivation and the parents' ability to "step-back" were identified as important to the success of CO-OP.

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