Children's participation in home, school and community life after acquired brain injury.

Abstract

AIMS This study aimed to describe participation at home, school and in the community of Australian children who had sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI). Parent ratings regarding the impact of cognitive, motor and behavioural impairments on participation were obtained. In addition, the influence of environmental factors on participation was investigated. METHODOLOGY This study used a cross-sectional design with convenience sampling to recruit 20 children who attended a rehabilitation review clinic between September 2006 and September 2007. Participants completed the Child and Family Follow-up Survey (Bedell, 2004) to describe the participation of their children in home, school and community settings. The CFFS was developed based on the International Classification of Function, and uses parent report to measure the impact of impairments and environmental factors on children's participation in home, school and community life. RESULTS The children were reported to have the greatest participation restrictions for structured events in the community, and social, play or leisure activities with peers either at school or in the community. Children were least restricted moving about in and around their own homes. CONCLUSIONS This research describes difficulties encountered by Australian children with ABI in participating in community-based activities with their same aged peers. This study adds to the current literature describing patterns of participation of United States children who have sustained brain injuries, and provides useful information for Australian therapists to consider when addressing children's return to school and engagement with their peers following brain injury.

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