Keeping advanced seating services appointments in a Western Cape setting: A qualitative exploration of the experiences of carers of persons with cerebral palsy

Gwen-Lynn North, Surona Visagie

Abstract


Introduction: Carers of persons with cerebral palsy (CP) often experience challenges with keeping health care appointments. The
challenges might be aggravated when the person with CP is using a posture support wheelchair or buggy for mobility.
Objective: This study aims to explore and describe the experiences of carers of persons with CP (Gross Motor Function Classification
Scale (GMFCS) IV/V), around keeping advanced seating services appointments at a tertiary healthcare facility in the Western Cape
Province.
Methods: This study implemented an exploratory, qualitative design. Seven carers of persons with CP (GMFCS IV/V) were purposively
sampled and interviewed. Themes were generated through thematic analysis with an inductive reasoning process.
Findings: Carers experienced a great deal of stress around accessing the tertiary healthcare facility for the seating appointment.
They did not wish to spread appointments over different days as it would increase cost. Transport barriers were compounded by the
impairments of the person and the cumbersome posture support device. Three themes were generated: (1) A strenuous experience,
(2) A Family Affair and (3) Transport dilemmas.
Conclusion: The size and impairments of the person and the cumbersomeness of the buggy fed into and compounded transport
challenges, while spousal and wider family support alleviated challenges.

Key words: Cerebral palsy, Access to services, Advanced seating, Public transport


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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