Context therapy: a new intervention approach for children with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2011 Jul;53(7):615-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03959.x. Epub 2011 May 13.


Aim: To describe the development of context therapy, a new intervention approach designed for a randomized controlled trial.

Method: Therapists were trained to change task and environmental factors to achieve parent-identified functional goals for children with cerebral palsy. Therapists did not provide any remediation strategies to change the abilities of the child. Theoretical constructs were developed using dynamic systems theory and the principles of family-centered care. A primary therapist model was used. A three-step intervention strategy was developed.

Results: Therapists adhered to the treatment protocol. Parents participated in the development of both functional goals and intervention strategies.

Interpretation: A therapy approach focusing on changing the task and the environment rather than children's impairments can be a viable treatment strategy and merits further investigation. The detailed description of the context therapy approach allows replication by both researchers and clinicians. Such intervention descriptions are an important methodological consideration in rehabilitation research.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / education*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Environment
  • Treatment Outcome