The Impact of Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy on Children with Disabilities and their Carers

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The need to demonstrate 'best value' in local authority settings is one of the remits of the white paper Modernising Social Services (Department of Health 1997). This study investigated the effectiveness of paediatric occupational therapy in terms of both increasing the independence of disabled children and reducing the strain of caring on the part of the carers. A before-and-after design was used, in which 33 children with a wide range of disabilities were assessed using two measures – the Community Dependency Index and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure – prior to receiving and then following occupational therapy. The carers were interviewed separately, using three scales to assess the strain associated with their caring tasks.

The findings show a statistically significant shift in the children's scores indicating that the levels of independence improved for most of the children, although many remained dependent on their carers for a number of daily living tasks. While the carers found the occupational therapy service very satisfactory, the evidence suggests that it did not reduce the strain of caring.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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