Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318227cc6b
Research Article

Perceptions of Vulnerability and Variations in Childrearing Practices of Parents of Infants Born Preterm

Bartlett, Doreen J. PT, PhD; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria W. G. PPT, PhD; Fallang, Bjørg PT, PhD; Fanning, Jamie Kneale PT, MClSc; Doralp, Samantha PhD

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Introduction and Purpose: To determine differences in Canadian, Norwegian, and Dutch parents' perceptions of vulnerability of their infants born preterm and their childrearing practices.

Methods: This observational study included 62 infants born preterm (46% boys) and their parents. Parents completed the Beliefs About My Baby Scale and the Daily Activities of Infants Scale when infants were between 4 and 11 months corrected age. One-way analyses of variance were conducted.

Results: Parents in the Netherlands perceived their infants as being more vulnerable than parents in the other countries (P < .001). The total Daily Activities of Infants Scale scores did not differ across countries. Parents who received therapy services had greater perceptions of their infants' vulnerability than parents not receiving services (P = .01).

Conclusions: Prematurity stereotyping is not limited to North America. Service providers need to consider therapy for infants born preterm from a strength-based rather than disability perspective.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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