Therapy in a subtropical climate for children with cerebral palsy. Evidence of physical and psychosocial effects?
Article first published online: 10 NOV 2008
©2008 The Author(s)/Journal Compilation ©2008 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica/Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 98, Issue 4, pages 670–674, April 2009
How to Cite
Skjeldal, O., Capjon, H., Dahl, A. and Diseth, T. (2009), Therapy in a subtropical climate for children with cerebral palsy. Evidence of physical and psychosocial effects?. Acta Paediatrica, 98: 670–674. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01114.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 10 NOV 2008
- Received 29 July 2008; revised 22 September 2008; accepted 8 October 2008.
- Cerebral palsy;
- Warm climate
Aim: To assess a possible therapeutic effect in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy of a habilitation programme in a warm sunny climate.
Methods: Fifty-seven children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, all integrated with normal functioning children through mainstream schooling, received an individualized four-week habilitation programme at a habilitation centre in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. They were clinically assessed before and after treatment, and again after three and six months. The clinical tests included gross motor function measure (GMFM) and the paediatric evaluation of disability inventory (PEDI). Mental health and self-esteem were assessed by using the youth self report (YSR), the child behaviour checklist (CBCL) and the Harter's self-perception profile. We also used focus-group interviews on all 57 parents by the end of the treatment period.
Results: The study revealed some improvements in the level of physical performance. The most striking finding, however, was the lasting effect on behavioural and emotional parameters and the children's self-esteem.
Conclusion: Training in a warm climate may explain some of this positive effect. However, based on the focus-group interviews and its quantitative findings a more plausible explanation may be the interaction in a social setting with others in a similar situation.