Cerebral palsy takes a substantial emotional toll not just on the children who suffer from this condition, but also their families. A new study conducted by Canadian researchers illustrates this often devastating toll.
The study, the first into the impact of the condition on families of school age children, was conducted by researchers from the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University in Montréal. They were specifically looking at the effect of cerebral palsy on the families of school-age children suffering from the condition. The researchers surveyed parents of 95 children aged between six and 12 years, and suffering from cerebral palsy. As they evaluated the questionnaires, the researchers found that 45% of the parents described themselves as being “highly stressed,” while 11% describe themselves as being “defensive.” Approximately 50% of the patients said that their children's cerebral palsy had adversely affected their time, emotional condition, and family activities. However, the families confirmed that the children's illness had not disturbed the cohesion of the family as a unit.