College of Arts and Sciences
Primary Subject Area
Health Sciences, Nursing
quality of life, cerebral palsy, family centered care
Medicine and Health Sciences
Wippermann, Jill A., "The Quality of Life of Families of Children with Cerebral Palsy" (2013). Senior Honors Theses. 373.
Cerebral palsy, the most common cause of physical childhood disability, is a non-progressive disorder that results from an anoxic brain injury to the fetal or newborn brain. Because this disorder can cause disability, ranging from mild to severe effects on motor and cognitive functioning, the diagnosis can vary from one child to another, causing family stress due to vague and unknown predicted outcomes of the disorder. Because the diagnosis of cerebral palsy affects families in different ways depending on coping mechanisms, support systems, and the age and level of functioning of the child, among other factors, it is important to take an individualistic approach to care. Family-centered care has been shown to be beneficial in approaching the care needs of these families. To promote overall quality of life, efforts should be made to evaluate specific family member needs and include the entire family in the education, care planning, and implementation processes.