The relationship between family empowerment and fine motor, gross motor and cognitive skills in young children with cerebral palsy

Child Care Health Dev. 2022 Dec 15. doi: 10.1111/cch.13091. Online ahead of print.


Background: Family empowerment in families of young children with cerebral palsy (CP) is an important consideration because the first few years of life can be overwhelming for parents. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between family empowerment, fine motor (FM), gross motor (GM) and cognitive development in children with CP who were under 3 years of age.

Methods: Forty-one children with a mean age of 23.8 months participated in this study. The Family Empowerment Scale (FES) was completed by the participants' parents, whereas the FM, GM and cognitive subscales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Third edition (B-III) were administered by physical therapists.

Results: Statistically significant positive correlations were found between the FES total and B-III raw scores for FM, GM and cognitive subscales with coefficients ranging from 0.35 to 0.41. Significant relationships were also found between the FES Community subscale and the B-III FM, GM and cognitive subscales.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence of a relationship between family empowerment and FM, GM and cognitive abilities in young children with CP, with a greater severity of impairments related to lower levels of caregiver empowerment.

Keywords: cerebral palsy; cognition; family empowerment; fine motor function; gross motor function; young children.