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A qualitative study of the physical, social and attitudinal environments influencing the participation of children with cerebral palsy in northeast England

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


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Purpose: The social model of disability considers participation to be determined by the social, attitudinal and physical environments experienced by an individual. This study aims to ascertain from families of children with cerebral palsy the features of such environments which facilitate or restrict participation. Method: Thirteen in-depth interviews using a topic guide were conducted with the parents of children with cerebral palsy. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed with NVivo software. Results: The main themes emerging from the interviews were the importance of mobility, transport, support by and to parents and attitudes of individuals and institutions towards children. Most parents did not raise the policies and legislation determining participation barriers, although these are also likely to be influential. Conclusions: This study confirms the importance of the environment for the participation of children with cerebral palsy. Statutory agencies need to attend the attitudes and policies in their organization in order to plan the inclusive environments which parents report will facilitate their child's participation. This study also contributes to the development of a tool to quantify the environment to allow the development of models to determine the environments which maximize children's participation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lawlor K, Mihaylov S, Welsh B, Jarvis S, Colver A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Rehabilitation

Year: 2006

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Pages: 219-228

ISSN (print): 1363-8491

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5270

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/13638490500235649

PubMed id: 17050400


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