Cerebral palsy (CP) is the leading cause of permanent disability in children. Occupational therapists serve a primary role in the rehabilitation of children with CP. Poor adherence to treatment is common. The aim of this study is to explore the viewpoint of occupational therapists on factors which impact adherence to occupational therapy (OT) interventions among parents of children with CP.
A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews were employed. Our participants were recruited by purposive sampling among occupational therapists who were working in Kermanshah province, western Iran. The interviews were taped and transcribed. Content analysis using constant comparison was performed.
The mean age of our participants was 34.23±7.50. Four main categories with specific subcategories emerged as important in affecting adherence. The first category of child and family-related factors described factors such as the clinical status of the child and family composition. These factors had the potential for both improving and reducing adherence to treatment. The second category of therapist-related factors described the effect of appropriate professional skills of the therapist on improving adherence and included clinical competency, communication skills, and job satisfaction. The third category of environmental factors addressed factors such as cultural views of child disability and access to OT interventions. The category mostly emphasized environmental barriers to adherence to treatment. The fourth category of therapy-related factors described barriers such as the type of therapy, and the length of treatment.
Adherence to OT interventions in parents of children with CP can be influenced by several factors. These factors range from child and family-related factors to therapy-related factors and have the potential for both positively and negatively affecting adherence. Programs to improve adherence should address these factors together.