Leisure activity preferences for 6- to 12-year-old children with cerebral palsy
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AIM: The objective was to describe leisure activity preferences of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and their relationship to participation. Factors associated with greater interest in leisure activities were identified. METHOD: Fifty-five school-aged children (36 males, 19 females; mean age 9 y 11 mo; range 6 y 1 mo-12 y 11 mo) with CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS]) level I 62%, level II 22%, level III-IV 16%; 33.3% hemiplegia, 29.6% diplegia, 25.9% quadriplegia, 11.2% other) who could complete the Preferences for Activities of Children (PAC) were recruited. RESULTS: Social and recreational activities were most preferred, and self-improvement activities were least preferred. Younger age, higher motivation, and IQ predicted interest in active-physical activities (r(2)=0.39). Negative reaction to failure was associated with less preference for social activities (r(2)=0.16), whereas increased prosocial behaviours were related to greater preference for recreational (r(2)=0.13) and self-improvement activities; the latter is also predicted by older age (r(2)=0.24). Interest in skill-based activities was greater in females and in children who were highly motivated, younger, and had greater motor limitations (r(2)=0.51). The findings suggest that personal factors and functional abilities influence leisure activity preferences. High preference for certain activities was not always associated with involvement in these activities. INTERPRETATION: Determination of preferences is inherent to child-centred practice and should, therefore, be part of the evaluation process. Rehabilitation strategies can minimize barriers to leisure participation, such as fear of failure, low motivation, or environmental obstacles.
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