Aim To describe the development of context therapy, a new intervention approach designed for a randomized controlled trial.
Method Therapists were trained to change task and environmental factors to achieve parent-identified functional goals for children with cerebral palsy. Therapists did not provide any remediation strategies to change the abilities of the child. Theoretical constructs were developed using dynamic systems theory and the principles of family-centered care. A primary therapist model was used. A three-step intervention strategy was developed.
Results Therapists adhered to the treatment protocol. Parents participated in the development of both functional goals and intervention strategies.
Interpretation A therapy approach focusing on changing the task and the environment rather than children’s impairments can be a viable treatment strategy and merits further investigation. The detailed description of the context therapy approach allows replication by both researchers and clinicians. Such intervention descriptions are an important methodological consideration in rehabilitation research.