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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1990 Dec;32(12):1049-57.

Siblings as change agents for promoting the functional status of children with cerebral palsy.

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  • 1University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a four-month intervention program in which 31 siblings of 15 children with cerebral palsy were taught about cerebral palsy and what they could do to encourage their brother or sister to be more independent. The teaching was reinforced by home visits to develop individual plans for the children with cerebral palsy, and sibling group meetings were held to discuss progress and to provide support. Following this intervention, the children with cerebral palsy had significantly increased range of motion of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. There were also improvements in ambulation, personal hygiene, dressing and feeding. These findings indicate that siblings should be involved in the plant of care for children with disability, since they can be important teachers, rĂ´le models and agents of change.

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