Profile of and caregiver experiences of infants with obstetric Erb's Palsy treated at a tertiary institution
Background: Erb's Palsy results from excessive displacement of the head during birth causing traction on the Brachial plexus. In order to define optimal management for Erb's Palsy, reliable data is needed. Aim: The aim of the study was therefore to determine the profile of and caregiver experiences of infants with Erb' Palsy seen at Groote Schuur Hospital. Method: The study was carried out at Groote Schuur Hospital (GHS) in the Western Cape, South Africa. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A record review was conducted to collect quantitative data which was retrieved from patient files and captured on a data extraction sheet. A convenient sample of caregivers of children with Erb's Palsy were recruited and interviewed for the qualitative component of the study. Quantitative data was analyzed and presented in tables, figures and qualitative data was analyzed thematic and presented narratively. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town. In addition, permission was obtained from the hospital management. Results: The total sample size for the quantitative part was ninety-six (96) files of children with Erb's Palsy. The mean age of the study sample was 3.8 months. The majority (53.1%) of the participants received a mean of 4.1 (SD=1.7) physiotherapy session. In the qualitative phase eight participants were interviewed. Analysis of qualitative data yielded three themes including "experience of mothers as it relates to Erb's Palsy", "mothers' engagement with health care providers" and "personal and environmental factors". Conclusion: The study within this setting indicated that Erb's Palsy was most common among females. The most common documented forms of physiotherapy techniques provided for children with Erb's Palsy in setting were stretching and strengthening exercises as well as therapeutic massage. exercise. Caring for a child with Erb's Palsy resulted in emotional challenges experienced by the mothers of these children.