Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Occupational Therapy, faculty of Rehabilitation, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

2 Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Research Center, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

3 Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

4 University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) affects different aspects of children’s development. Some of these negative effects (such as child’s behavioral issues) could be eliminated by teaching mothers –as the main caregivers- to have proper skills. The present study investigated the effectiveness of teaching communication skills to the mothers of children with CP in reducing the children’s behavioral problems.
Methods: Forty-two mothers who had 4-10-year-old children with CP, they were able to read and write, age between 20 and 40, and their children’s mobility score was at or below 3 in Gross Motor Function Classification System were recruited by convenient sampling. In this semi-experimental study, mothers completed the Rutter Children's Behavioral Questionnaire Children’s behavioral problems before and after the training. The experimental group received nine 90-minute training sessions on how to communicate with their children, the control group did not have any intervention regarding children’s behavioral problems.  Data were analyzed by Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA).
Results: Comparing the two groups’ mean scores in five Rutter’s sub-tests showed significant differences (Aggression & hyperactivity, Social incompatibility, Anti-social behaviors, Anxiety & Depression, and General Behavioral problems) before the training indicated differences between groups (p =0.001). After training, the experimental group showed a significant reduction in five subtests of Rutter’s (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: The present study indicated strengthening mothers with proper communication skills may change their interactions with their children with CP, and reduce the occurrence of a child’s behavioral problems. Therefore, rehabilitation team can consider the communication skills training program along with other therapeutic plans to intervene for children with CP.


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