Parents of children with developmental disabilities and physiotherapy: attitudes, opinions and experiences

Manuela Pines


Introduction: Family-centered care is the foundation of pediatric physical therapy. The concept implies that the family plays a crucial role in preserving its members’ health and well-being. The family is empowered to fully participate in the assessment, planning, and delivery of healthcare services. The physiotherapist’s services are being provided to not only a disabled child, but also to his parents and extended family. The family’s presence during the procedure decreases the level of anxiety in both the child and parents, which enhances the effectiveness of the therapy itself. In addition, the parents’ self-assurance in their parenting improves the family climate.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine how parents of children with neurorisk and developmental difficulties perceive pediatric physiotherapy. Furthermore, the goal is to determine the differences in attitudes and opinions between parents according to their age.

Materials and methods: The research included 321 parents, and the data was collected through a questionnaire.

Results: The study revealed that parents share the belief that physiotherapy procedures have a positive impact on their child’s motor development. The obtained results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the attitudes and opinions of parents regarding their age (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Parents of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties generally have positive attitudes towards pediatric physiotherapy, as shown by the research results. According to respondents, physiotherapy procedures have a beneficial effect on their child’s motor development and quality of life. The results mentioned are consistent regardless of the age of the parents. The results obtained indicate an opportunity for investing in this field of physiotherapy, but also a need to enhance the role of physiotherapists in the pediatric population.


Key words: Child Development Disorders, Developmental Disabilities, Motor Skills, Neurophysiotherapy, Risk Factors