Mobility Experiences of Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy
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The purpose of this study was to describe how youth with cerebral palsy experience mobility in their daily lives using a phenomenological approach. The participants were 10 youth with cerebral palsy, 17 to 20 years of age, selected using purposeful sampling with maximum variation strategies. A total of 14 interviews were completed. Transcripts were analyzed for key concepts and themes. Credibility was established through triangulation of researchers and member checking. Participants viewed mobility as important for self-sufficiency. Youth who walked and also used wheeled mobility spoke of making choices. Safety and efficiency were important considerations when making choices. Some participants had mobility preferences at home that may not be safe, practical, or socially appropriate at school or in the community. Youth spoke of constantly adapting to situations that often reflected a lack of control over the environment. Youth indicated the need for constantly planning ahead to go places and do things. Most participants were dependent on others for transportation and expressed dissatisfaction with public transportation. Safe and efficient mobility to enable participation in daily activities appears to be the primary concern of youth with cerebral palsy.
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