Do therapists' goals and interventions for children with cerebral palsy reflect principles in contemporary literature?

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2008 Winter;20(4):334-9. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31818a1d41.


Purpose: To explore therapists' goal setting and intervention with children with cerebral palsy, and to examine their acceptance of children's use of compensatory movement strategies.

Methods: Interviews were conducted with 23 occupational therapists and 31 physical therapists. Goals and assumptions of relationships between intervention approaches and expected outcomes were coded using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). Therapists' acceptance of compensatory movement strategies was rated.

Results: Thirty-three therapists identified goals representing the ICF activity component. Therapists working with younger children identified goals representing the ICF body function/structure component. Twenty-four therapists assumed that an intervention targeted at 1 ICF component would affect an outcome in a different component. Eleven therapists would not accept compensatory movement strategies.

Conclusions: Most therapists' goals are congruent with principles encouraging functional goals. The ICF matrix developed for this study may be useful for clinical evaluation and documentation of assumed relationships among interventions and outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / methods*