Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2013


College of Arts and Sciences


Nursing (B.S.N.)

Primary Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nursing


quality of life, cerebral palsy, family centered care


Medicine and Health Sciences


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.