Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181b17566
Research Report

Parents’ Perspectives on Access to Rehabilitation Services for Their Children with Special Healthcare Needs

O’Neil, Margaret E. PT, PhD, MPH; Costigan, Tracy E. PhD; Gracely, Edward J. PhD; Wells, Nora MEd

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Abstract

Purpose: This study examined parents’ (caregivers’) perspectives on problems related to access to therapy services for their children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN) as predicted by child, family, and health insurance characteristics.

Methods: Secondary data analysis was conducted using the Family Partners Project database. A subsample of 1027 parents of CSHCN who received rehabilitation services in the year before the study were the participants.

Results: Child, family, and insurance characteristics explained 19.1% of problems related to access to rehabilitation services with family characteristics being the strongest predictor (10.8%). Odds ratios are reported for these characteristics.

Conclusion: Family financial hardship, the child’s age, and managed care practices in health insurance plans may be the primary factors contributing to problems related to access to therapy services for CSHCN. Therapists may need a better understanding of family challenges with access to services to be more effective advocates.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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