Each day over the next week I’ll post up an abstract for a paper being presented by a member of the Critical Physiotherapy Network at the In Sickness and In Health conference in Mallorca in June 2015. (You can find more information on the conference here.)
The role of families in paediatric physiotherapy: a critical analysis.
By Clarissa A.C: Araujo & Berta Paz Lourido
In Spain, the early intervention services are addressed to the health care of children from 0 to 6 years old with developmental disorder or disability, as well as their families. In this study we present part of the results of a broader research project conducted in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) with the aim of identifying in which manner physiotherapy may improve the quality of life in families of children attending early intervention services. It was used a qualitative design with the critical social paradigm as theoretical perspective. Participants were 9 physiotherapists working in early intervention (both public and private services). Data collection was obtained through in-depth interviews and analysed using discourse analysis. Results highlight that the family participation in the child physiotherapy intervention is seen as crucial to achieve better outcomes, but the way physiotherapists describe the role of families points to its consideration as a therapeutic resource at their homes for the continuity of care in aspects related to the daily life activities or the application of therapeutic recommendations. However, families were not seen as a goal of the physiotherapeutic interventions itself, what shows that in many aspects participants are unaware of the challenges and obstacles that families of children with disabilities face in their everyday lives, and in which way physiotherapists may even increase the stress of the families. As conclusion, although family is considered a key element in the conceptualization of paediatric physiotherapy in early intervention, data in this study suggest that, in practice, family is not considered from a broader perspective, as a social determinant of health. These results point to the need of rethinking the postgraduate education in paediatrics physiotherapy as well as at the undergraduate level.