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Identification and description of environmental factors that influence participation of children with cerebral palsy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Svetozar Mihaylov, Emeritus Professor Stephen Jarvis, Emeritus Professor Allan ColverORCiD


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Physical, social, and attitudinal environment may restrict participation in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Here we discuss existing/possible approaches in order to identify and describe this environment. We used a critical review of evidence from the World Health Organization Literature Review on Environmental Factors; a search of electronic databases; and talked to specialists in order to find unpublished papers and 'grey' literature. Both children with disabilities and their parents identified a range of barrier and facilitator factors. These included psychosocial pressures (family, school), financial difficulties, and inadequate public services. Observational studies suggest that building structure, loss of income, and provision of specific equipment have a direct impact on levels of child participation. Some available instruments attempt to capture environmental factors by client survey or objective measurement; most relate to adult contexts, but there are a few child-specific instruments for surveying attitudes of children to peers with disabilities and for observation of the school environment. Defining and measuring potential environmental determinants of participation for children with CP needs further development; and here we propose how this might be done.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mihaylov SI, Jarvis SN, Colver AF, Beresford B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Year: 2004

Volume: 46

Issue: 5

Pages: 299-304

ISSN (print): 0012-1622

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8749


DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2004.tb00489.x

PubMed id: 15132259