Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Report

Creating a Family-Centered Approach to Early Intervention Services: Perceptions of Parents and Professionals

Iversen, Maura D. ScD, MPH, PT; Shimmel, Jenny Poulin MSPT; Ciacera, Stephanie L. BS; Prabhakar, Meenakshi MS

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Abstract

Purpose: This study compares the attitudes of parents and early intervention (EI) providers concerning the effectiveness of family-centered services, identifies factors associated with parental satisfaction, and describes providers’ perceptions of obstacles in forming collaborative relationships with families.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was used to assess providers’ (N = 11) and parents’ (N = 18) perceptions of EI services. Participants completed a questionnaire including basic demographics, services received, and perceived effectiveness in the delivery of services. Participants also completed a modified version of the Project Dakota assessment of program effectiveness in meeting the needs of families.

Results: Eighty-seven percent of parents were satisfied with their EI programs, with lesser parental satisfaction noted in learning how to develop strategies and set goals, strategies to discipline and set limits, and available community resources. Providers’ overall satisfaction was 99%. Providers felt they needed more development in building parent networks and helping parents value the time their child spends with children without delays.

Conclusions: The results of this study are consistent with previous literature and suggest that the attitudes of parents and professionals regarding program effectiveness are similar.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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