Is there a difference between the mental health of primary caregivers of children with cerebral palsy with differing levels of motor function : a systematic review ; and, Life beyond mobility for non-ambulant children with cerebral palsy

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy)


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences


Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Doctor Sonya Girdler

Second Advisor

A/ Professor Catherine Elliott


AIM: The primary caregiver of a child with cerebral palsy (CP) plays a key role in the child's life. The well-being of a caregiver can impact a child's quality of life, skill development, behaviour and therapy outcomes, This systematic review aimed to identify whether there is a relationship between the mental health of the primary caregiver and the severity of motor impairment of their child with CP. METHODS: Electronic database searches were undertaken in Ebsco host (Cinahl, Medline and Psych Info), Web of Science and Scopus. These searches were time-limited to t)le years 2000-2011. RESULTS: Thirteen articles were found to meet the inclusion criteria. Severity of motor impairment was classified by the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in .all but one study. The majority (10 out of 13) studies found that there was no difference between the mental health of primary caregivers of children with CP with different GMFCS levels. INTERPRETATION: Severity of motor impairment of a child with CP is not a useful predictor of primary caregiver mental well-being. However, other factors have been identified which appear to influence caregiver mental health which services should be open to exploring and addressing with these children and their families.

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