Determinants of parent-delivered therapy interventions in children with cerebral palsy: A qualitative synthesis and checklist

Clarissa Lord, Tim Rapley, Claire Marcroft, Janice Pearse, Anna Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Parent‐delivered therapy interventions for children with cerebral palsy can help achieve a sufficient therapy dose, improve parental mental well‐being, and facilitate parent–child relationships creating a more relaxed familial environment. However, parent‐delivered interventions may also lead to increased parental stress, guilt if the therapy is not delivered, and time constraints. The primary aim of this review was to gain a deeper understanding of the determinants of effective parent‐delivered therapy interventions.

Searches were conducted in the following databases: Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane. Studies had to meet the following inclusion criteria: descriptions of parent/health care professional/child experiences of parent‐delivered therapy interventions for children and young people age 0–18 years with cerebral palsy, published in the English language between January 1989 and May 2017, with qualitative or mixed methods research design. The articles were critically appraised, then synthesized using a meta‐ethnographic approach.

A literature search identified 17 articles, which met the inclusion criteria. Three main themes were identified: (a) building trusting relationships, (b) enabling the parents to cope, and (c) for parents and health care professionals to see the intervention as a priority. Further synthesis presented three concepts identifying the important aspects of the interventions: empowerment, motivation, and relationships.

The themes and concepts emerging from this qualitative synthesis can be addressed by specific points of action to support parent‐delivered therapy interventions. We have summarized these in a checklist for use by intervention developers, health care professionals, and parents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-669
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


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