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Quantifying the physical, social and attitudinal environment of children with cerebral palsy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather Dickinson, Emeritus Professor Allan ColverORCiD



Purpose. To develop an instrument to represent the availability of needed environmental features (EFs) in the physical, social and attitudinal environment of home, school and community for children with cerebral palsy. Method. Following a literature review and qualitative studies, the European Child Environment Questionnaire (ECEQ) was developed to capture whether EFs needed by children with cerebral palsy were available to them: 24, 24 and 12 items related to the physical, social and attitudinal environments, respectively. The ECEQ was administered to parents of 818 children with cerebral palsy aged 8-12 years, in seven European countries. A domain structure was developed using factor analysis. Results. Parents responded to 98% of items. Seven items were omitted from statistical models as the EFs they referred to were available to most children who needed them; two items were omitted as they did not fit well into plausible domains. The final domains, based on 51 items, were: Transport, Physical - home, Physical - community, Physical - school, Social support - home, Social support - community, Attitudes - family and friends, Attitudes - teachers and therapists, Attitudes classmates. Conclusion. ECEQ was acceptable to parents and can be used to assess both the access children with cerebral palsy have to the EFs that they need and how available individual EFs are.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dickinson HO, Colver A, SPARCLE Group

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Disability and Rehabilitation

Year: 2011

Volume: 33

Issue: 1

Pages: 36-50

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

Date deposited: 05/01/2011

ISSN (print): 0963-8288

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5165

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2010.485668


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Funder referenceFunder name
Stiftung fur das Behinderte Kind/Foundation for the Disabled Child
GRR-58640-2/14Bundesministerium fur Gesundheit/German Ministry of Health
QLG5-CT-2002-00636European Union