Experiences of parents regarding rehabilitation of their children with cerebral palsy in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
Thoya, Janet Modenyi
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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects movement and posture and lasts throughout one's life span. It is often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, and communication behaviours as well as musculoskeletal problems that lead to activity limitation and participation restrictions. Rehabilitation is recommended in the management and improvement of functions, promoting independence in CP cases. However, CP management brings about different experiences and challenges to children and families affected by the condition. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of parents regarding rehabilitation of their children with CP in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town, South Africa. The objectives of this study were to explore the positive and negative experiences of parents of children with CP encountered in rehabilitation management and explore their coping strategies. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from all relevant stakeholders and all ethics were observed. The study was conducted at Site B and Nolungile CHC in Khayelitsha. The researcher used an explorative qualitative study design an approach that seeks to understand social challenges of individuals and groups that experience a common problem. Purposeful sampling technique was used to recruit participants. Semi-structured interview guide and probes were utilized for interviews. The interviews were conducted by a research assistant due to the language barrier, interviews were audio taped and data were collected until saturation was reached. Data were transcribed verbatim, translated from Isi Xhosa to English, coded and analysed using thematic content analysis. The researcher applied the process of confirmability, transferability and credibility. The results showed that parents had experienced both negative and positive challenges. Negative challenges included socioeconomic, emotional, marital, wrong and delayed diagnosis and lack of hope and support structures. Positive challenges included rehabilitation and family support. The parents coping strategies included sharing groups and self-motivation.