The effectiveness of the Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation (PREP) intervention: improving participation of adolescents with physical disabilities
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AIM: This study examined the effectiveness of the Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation (PREP) intervention in improving the participation of adolescents in community-based activities. METHOD: Twenty-eight adolescents (14 males, 14 females), aged 12 to 18 years (mean 14y 6mo, SD 21.6mo) with moderate physical disabilities participated in a 12-week PREP intervention. An interrupted time series design with multiple baselines was employed, replicating the intervention effect across three chosen activities and all participants. An occupational therapist worked individually with adolescents and parents to identify and implement strategies to remove environmental barriers that impede participation in selected activities. Activity performance was repeatedly measured using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) at baseline, intervention, and follow-up (20wks). For each activity, the trajectory representing change in performance was analyzed descriptively. Segmented regression combined with a mixed-effects modeling approach was used to statistically estimate the overall effectiveness of the intervention within and across 79 activities. RESULTS: A statistically significant improvement (B=2.08, p<0.001) was observed across all activities, 59 per cent of which also indicated a clinically significant change of more than 2 points on the COPM scale. Levels of performance were maintained during follow-up with an additional increase of 0.66 points on the COPM scale (t=3.04, p=0.004). Intervention was most effective for males and those with a higher number of functional issues. INTERPRETATION: Findings illustrate that participation can be improved by changing the environment only. Such evidence further supports emerging therapeutic approaches that are activity-based, goal-oriented, and ecological in nature. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Environment-based intervention strategies, guided by the Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation, are effective in improving and maintaining adolescent participation. Intervention was most effective for males and those with a higher number of functional issues. The study design serves as an example for future pragmatic studies accounting for individual-based changes and contexts.
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