Prioritized strategies to improve diagnosis and early management of cerebral palsy for both Māori and non-Māori families

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2024 Aug;66(8):1074-1083. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.15847. Epub 2024 Jan 18.


Aim: To identify prioritized strategies to support improvements in early health service delivery around the diagnosis and management of cerebral palsy (CP) for both Māori and non-Māori individuals.

Method: Using a participatory approach, health care professionals and the parents of children with CP attended co-design workshops on the topic of early diagnosis and management of CP. Health design researchers facilitated two 'discovery' (sharing experiences and ideas) and two 'prototyping' (solution-focused) workshops in Aotearoa, New Zealand. A Māori health service worker co-facilitated workshops for Māori families.

Results: Between 7 and 13 participants (14 health care professionals, 12 parents of children with CP across all functional levels) attended each workshop. The discovery workshops revealed powerful stories about early experiences and needs within clinician-family communication and service provision. The prototyping workshops revealed priorities around communication, and when, what, and how information is provided to families; recommendations were co-created around what should be prioritized within a resource to aid health care navigation.

Interpretation: There is a critical need for improved communication, support, and guidance, as well as education, for families navigating their child with CP through the health care system. Further input from families and health care professionals partnering together will continue to guide strategies to improve health care service delivery using experiences as a mechanism for change.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy* / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Palsy* / ethnology
  • Cerebral Palsy* / therapy
  • Child
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maori People
  • New Zealand
  • Parents

Grants and funding