Profile of Childhood Health Conditions referred to Physiotherapy and Attributing Factors to Disablement

Amrita George, Annie Thomas, Kavitha Raja


Purpose: This study attempted to profile the prevalence of childhood health conditions and the factors that contribute to the disablement process and thus leading to disability among children who visit a tertiary referral hospital in Mysore, India.

Method: A mixed methods approach was adopted. Phase 1 of the study delineated the profile of cases being referred for physiotherapy treatment. Cases of Cerebral Palsy were reported to be the highest (46%). Phase 2 of the study identified 4 major themes based on the mothers’ experiences with their children.

Result: The findings revealed the need to create awareness among paediatricians about the importance of early intervention in childhood disorders and optimal referral to physiotherapy. The other themes which emerged included various attitudes of family and society, lack of cooperation from school as well as the presence physical barriers in school and community and frustration experienced by caregivers due to lack of help and facilities.

Conclusion: There is a need to educate parents and society at large that disability should not be associated with “abnormal”. It is rather an interrelated phenomenon where the health issues of an individual and the outlook of society both play an important part.


Disability among children; prevalence

Full Text:



Ali S, Balaji PA, Dhaded SM, Goudar SS (2011). Assessment of growth and global developmental delay: a study among young children in rural community of India. Int Multidiscip Res J; 1(7): 31-34. Available from:

Barnes LL, Plotnikoff GA, Fox K, Pendleton S (2000). Spirituality, religion, and pediatrics: intersecting worlds of healing. Pediatrics; 106(4): 899-908. Available from:


Barua M, Daley CT (2008). Autistic spectrum disorder: a guide for paediatricians in India. New Delhi: Naveen Printers.

Boyle CA, Boulet S, Schieve LA, Cohen RA, Blumberg SJ, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Visser S, Kogan MD (2011). Trends in the prevalence of developmental disabilities in US Children. Pediatrics; 127: 1034-1042. Available from: PMid:21606152

CDC(2013). PRAMS questionnaire. Available from: [Accessed on 14 October 2014].

Conners C, Stalker K (2007). Children's experiences of disability: pointers to a social model of childhooddisability. DisabilSoc; 22(1): 19-33.

Danesco E (1997). Parental beliefs on childhood disability: insights on culture, child development and intervention. Int J DisabilDevEduc; 44(1): 41-52.

Fougeyrollas P, Cloutier R, Bergeron H, Cote J, Michel G (1999). The Quebec Classification: disability creation process. Available from:‎ [Accessed on 12 December 2013].

Gladstone M (2010). A review of the incidence and prevalence, types and aetiology of childhood cerebral palsy in resource-poor settings. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics; 30(3): 181-96. PMid:20828451

Halfon N, Houtrow A, Larson K, Newacheck PW (2012). The changing landscape of disability in childhood. Future child; 22(1): 13-42. PMid:22550684

Jette AM (1994). Physical disablement concepts for physical therapy research and practice. Phys Ther; 74: 380–386.

Kabra M, Gulati S (2003). Mental retardation. Indian J Pediatr; 70(2): 153-158. PMid:12661811

My Child (2013). Prevalence and incidence of cerebral palsy. Available from: [Accessed on 8 December 2013].

Seligman M, Darling R (2007). Ordinary families, special children. 3rd Ed. New York: The Guildford press.

WHO (2002). Towards a common language for functioning, disability and health ICF. Geneva: World Health Organisation. Available from: [Accessed on 8 December 2013].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Amrita George, Annie Thomas, Kavitha Raja

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Supported by:


© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development