Family-centred service: differences in what parents of children with cerebral palsy rate important.

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A family-centred approach to services of children with disabilities is widely accepted as the foundational approach to service delivery in paediatric health care. The 56 items of the Measure of Processes of Care questionnaire (MPOC-56) all reflect elements of family-centred service. In this study, we investigated which elements of family-centred service are rated important by parents of children with cerebral palsy by adding a question on importance to each item of the MPOC-56 (MPOC-56-I).


In total, 175 parents of children with cerebral palsy completed the MPOC-56-I. For each MPOC item, parents were asked to rate the importance on a 5-point scale ranging from 0 (not important at all) up to and including 4 (very important). We used Spearman's rank correlation coefficient to further explore the variation in parents' importance ratings.


Parents' importance ratings of the MPOC-56 items varied. The percentage of parents rating an item important (importance rating 3 or 4) varied between 43.8% and 96.8%. The percentage of parents rating an item unimportant (rating 0 or 1) varied between 0.0% and 20.3%, and the percentage of parents rating an item neutral (rating 2) varied between 3.0% and 36.0%. Most diverse importance ratings were found for five items concerning the provision of general information. Three correlations between these items and child and parent characteristics were found. Six items were rated important by almost all (≥95%) parents. These items concern elements of specific information about the child, co-ordinated and comprehensive care for child and family and enabling and partnership.


Parents rate the importance of family-centred services for their situation in various ways. These findings endorse that family-centred services should recognize the uniqueness of families and should be tailored to what parents find important.

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