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Caregivers or care providers: Who should assess motor function in cerebral palsy?
16 June 2008
06 August 2008
30 July 2015 (online)
The aim of this study was to investigate correlation between gross motor performance and gross motor capability of children with cerebral palsy (CP). A total of 106 participants comprising 53 (34 male and 19 female) children with CP aged between 1 and 12 years and their 53 primary caregivers were consecutively recruited from the University College Hospital Ibadan and Oni Memorial Children Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria. The gross motor capability was assessed in the clinic by a physiotherapist (care provider) using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) while the gross motor performance was assessed by the primary caregivers in their home environment using the Gross Motor Function Classification System Family Questionnaire (GMFCSFQ). Scores obtained from the GMFCS and GMFCSFQ were correlated using the Spearman correlation statistic at α = 0.05. Findings revealed that majority (94.3%) of the caregivers were mothers and the remainder, grandmothers (5.7%). A statistically significant positive correlation between the GMFCS and GMFCSFQ scores in all the children with cerebral palsy (P = 0.82, P = 0.00), those with quadriplegic CP (P = 0.70, P = 0.00) and hemiplegic CP (P = 0.79, P = 0.00). However a positive but non-significant correlation was observed in those with diplegic CP (P = 0.74, P = 0.26). The study outcome suggests that both the caregivers and the care providers of children with hemiplegic and quadriplegic CP would turn in similar judgment while assessing motor function in this group of patients. Apparent feminization of care giving role for CP was also revealed in this study.