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J Child Neurol. 2014 Aug;29(8):1101-7. doi: 10.1177/0883073814533151. Epub 2014 May 7.

Emerging therapy approaches: an emphasis on function.

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School of Rehabilitation Science, CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Children and youth with cerebral palsy receive ongoing physical and occupational therapy services to improve their functional performance and participation in activities at home, school, and in the community. Over the past 2 decades, rehabilitation interventions have become more functional and goal oriented. In this article, we discuss factors that have influenced emerging intervention approaches. These factors include greater involvement of families in decision making, changing conceptual frameworks and theories underlying skill development and improved outcome measures. New research findings indicate that rehabilitation interventions embracing family-centered services and focusing on functional improvement can be more effective in promoting participation. This knowledge can serve as the platform for further examination of the most effective rehabilitation interventions for children and youth with cerebral palsy.


cerebral palsy; evaluation; function; occupational therapy; physical therapy

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