Purpose: This study compared parents’ perceptions of benefits of a therapist’s direct intervention with intervention designed to teach parents to promote their children’s motor development.
Methods: Twenty-two mothers and one father of children with disabilities watched four videotapes. Two videotapes showed a physical therapist helping a child learn to sit or walk while the mother watched; two showed a therapist instructing a mother while the mother interacted with the child. Parents then responded to a 12-item questionnaire.
Results: Overall, participants rated the parent instruction approach as more beneficial, but more stressful, than direct intervention.
Conclusions: Most results were inconsistent with previous reports that parents believed direct intervention was more beneficial than other approaches. The parents’ belief that direct intervention could be less stressful is consistent with previous studies. Research is needed to identify the most effective model that parents prefer to promote children’s motor development.