Challenges faced by parents in rehabilitating children with cerebral palsy: The case of Ndola urban

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Shimulopwe- Chikolwa, Christine C
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This study examined challenges of rehabilitation faced by parents of children with cerebral palsy in Ndola urban, Zambia. Cerebral palsy is an injury to the developing brain. This injury often happens before, during birth or in the first five years of life (Kapulisa, 1990). Usually individuals with cerebral palsy experience difficulties in producing movement, preventing movement or controlling movement. Experiences of both female and male parents in socially rehabilitating their disabled children were explored and compared.Social rehabilitation referred to characteristics of parents, such as age, sex,level of education and gender roles performed. Comparisons were made of the economic activity parents engaged in and how it related to social rehabilitation. The study further investigated actions taken by parents regarding social rehabilitation of their children.Data was collected from a total number of 33 parents, female and male parents. All parents in the sample had children with cerebral palsy. Both the qualitative and quantitative methods were employed. Semi-structured questionnaires as well as the observation methods were used. Results from frequencies of observed and computed data revealed that both female and male parents experience challenges of rehabilitation. The results further indicated that there were significant differences between female and male parents' challenges of rehabilitation. Females exhibit more challenges in the areas of requiring help in childcare, cooking, cleaning the house, attending to other children, and performing other tasks, which are mostly house chores. Moreover, female parents also show more optimism and expect their children to achieve higher goals in life, such as becoming a doctor, nurse, teacher, or working as clergyperson. Male parents on the other hand expect their children to get 'cured' and to achieve 'lower' goals. However, both female and male parents indicated that they were involved in socially rehabilitating their children. Interestingly, both female and male parents expressed that they were not influenced by the gender of their children in deciding whether the child needed to be rehabilitated or not. However, this study concludes that the gender of a parent influences rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. Challenges are greater for female parents than for male parents. Senior parents take on triple roles of being a mother, a wife and a worker. Nevertheless both parents take positive actions in searching for the 'cure' such as finding ways of making the child comfortable regarding their children's problems and social rehabilitation needs.The dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter comprises the introduction, theoretical framework, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, purpose of the study, significance of the study, and the structure of the study. Chapter Two gives a critical review of the literature while the methodology is discussed in Chapter Three. In the fourth chapter, results are presented. Chapter five gives the discussion whereas conclusion and recommendations are presented in Chapter six
Cerebral palsied children -- Rehabilitation , Cerebral palsied children -- Home care , Cerebral palsied children -- Zambia