Impact of Long-term Use of Adaptive Seating Device among Children with Cerebral Palsy and their Families in Mumbai, India: A feasibility study
Purpose: There is evidence that adaptive seating devices can play a major role in the positioning and support of children with cerebral palsy (CP), and be of great benefit to them and their families. This study aims to provide preliminary information on the impact of long-term use of seating devices on the functional life of children with cerebral palsy.
Method: Family Impact of Assistive Technology Scale (FIATS) was used to assess the impact of the chair among children with cerebral palsy. The study participants consisted of 15 parents (9 mothers and 6 fathers) of young children (12 males and 3 females) with cerebral palsy. On the basis of Gross Motor Functional Classification System (GMFCS), 1 child at level III ,7 children at level IV, and 7 children at level V were included in the study. Mean age of the children was 5 years, and the mean duration of use of adaptive seating was 13 months.
Results: It was found that the uninterrupted use of adaptive seating devices had an overall positive effect on the lives of families of children with GMFCS levels III, IV and V as measured by FIATS. The greatest benefits were in relation to the children’s social interactions, the acceptance of assistive technology by parents, feeling of contentment among children, and the degree of autonomy over their own activities and in the performance of these activities independently.
Conclusions: From the perspective of parents, FIATS is a measurement instrument that focusses on domains that give quantitative descriptions of a wide range of seating devices when used in a child’s home environment. Use of FIATS helps therapists to take a judicious approach regarding long-term use of seating devices. Parents’ perceptions can help in this process.
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