Views of children with cerebral palsy and their parents on the effectiveness and acceptability of intensive speech therapy

Lindsay Pennington, Rosie Rauch, Johanna Smith, Katie Brittain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: To understand children and parents’ views of the effectiveness and acceptability of intensive dysarthria therapy.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-two children with cerebral palsy and dysarthria joined a pilot RCT comparing intensive therapy and usual care. Children (n=11) allocated to dysarthria therapy comprising three 40-minute sessions per week for six weeks and their parents (n=11) were interviewed two weeks before and six weeks after therapy. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.
Results: Analysis revealed five themes: Motivations, My new voice; The new me; I can do more; Success rooted in therapy design. Children had received little therapy for speech and were keen to improve intelligibility. Overall, therapy was viewed as effective. Participants described changes in children’s speech production, which they associated with increased speech intelligibility. Children were described as more confident following the therapy, to have more successful conversations, with a wider range of partners in more environments, thereby increasing their social participation. The programme was viewed as acceptable, despite its intensity, due to the short term commitment and wider benefits for the child. Parents valued the organised structure and individualisation of the programme and inclusion in the therapy process.
Conclusion: Families found the intervention acceptable and effective. A definitive trial of its clinical effectiveness is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2935-2943
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume42
Issue number20
Early online date29 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2020

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