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Original Research Articles

Perceptions of Primary Caregivers about Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy in Ashanti Region, Ghana

Authors:

Ernest Appiah Kyei ,

Centre for Disability Studies, Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GH
About Ernest Appiah

Centre for Disability Studies, Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Ghana

 

The author holds a MSc. degree in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development as well as a BA degree in Industrial Art from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He is currently associated with the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as an Assistant Social Development Officer. His main research interest is disability study.

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Joslin Dogbe

Centre for Disability Studies, Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GH
About Joslin

Joslin Dogbe is a Consultant Paediatrician, Public Health Physician and a Disability Advocate. He is a Medical Educator at the Department of Child Health at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

 

 
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Abstract

Purpose: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common chronic childhood disability, but in most cases the primary causes are largely unknown. The study sought to determine the perceptions about the causes and risk factors of CP among primary caregivers of children with CP in the Ashanti region of Ghana. 

Method: A descriptive study design with a quantitative approach was used. A simple random sampling technique was adopted to select 100 participants from among the primary caregivers whose children with CP were attending the physiotherapy unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ashanti region.  A structured questionnaire was administered to the respondents and data were analysed using SPSS version 21.0.

Results: CP was perceived as a disease caused by witchcraft (40%), punishment from God or Gods (12%), or by being cursed (10%). More than half (54%) of the respondents did not know of any risk factor for CP.

Conclusion and Implications: The perceived negative causes, as well as ignorance about the risk factors for CP, could result in primary caregivers stopping their children with CP from availing of the physiotherapy services. Public education and campaigns should focus on the causes and risk factors for CP, in order to change negative perceptions and improve awareness among the general public.

How to Cite: Kyei, E.A. and Dogbe, J., 2019. Perceptions of Primary Caregivers about Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy in Ashanti Region, Ghana. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 30(2), pp.37–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v30i2.840
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Published on 04 Oct 2019.

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