Prerequisites for carrying out physiotherapy and physical activity - experiences from adults with cerebral palsy

Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(3):161-9. doi: 10.1080/09638280701850934.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to get a deeper understanding into how adults with cerebral palsy (CP) experience physiotherapy and physical activity in a perspective from childhood to adulthood; and how personal and environmental factors influence possibilities for physiotherapy and physical activity.

Method: Data was collected through interviews with 22 community-living adults (35 - 68 years) with CP, from five counties in Sweden. The questions were open-ended and the interviews were taped and transcribed to written language. The material was analysed through qualitative content analysis, a classification process resulting in different themes.

Results: The narratives from the 22 informants, based on experiences from childhood to adulthood, resulted in a description of prerequisites for carrying out physiotherapy and physical activity. Five different themes were identified: (i) Being enjoyable, (ii) Giving effects, (iii) Being comprehensible, (iv) Being integrated in daily life, and (v) Supportive healthcare with competent professionals.

Conclusion: The information from the interviews elucidates the importance of a lifelong support from healthcare professionals. Physiotherapists with attentiveness to different life situations in combination with good understanding and knowledge in CP could facilitate continuous physical activity in people growing up and ageing with CP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / psychology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / psychology*