Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Report

Stress and Compliance with a Home Exercise Program Among Caregivers of Children with Disabilities

Rone-Adams, Shari A. PT, MHSA, DBA; Stern, Debra F. PT, MSM, DBA; Walker, Vicki MPT

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Abstract

Purpose: To determine the relationship between caregiver stress and compliance with home programs in caregivers of children with disabilities.

Methods: Sixty-six caregivers of children with disabilities responded to a mailed survey to determine their level of compliance with a prescribed home physical therapy program and the level of caregiver stress. Compliance was defined as the degree to which caregivers followed the prescribed frequency of the home program.

Results: Sixty-six percent of the caregivers reported some level of noncompliance with their home program. Linear regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between the caregivers' level of noncompliance with the home program and the level of stress that they reported. Correlation coefficients showed a significant relationship between family problems and noncompliance with home programs. As caregiver and family problems increased, noncompliance with home programs increased.

Conclusions: Caregivers of children with disabilities experience stress that should be addressed by therapists to maximize compliance with home programs.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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