Does an educational workshop have an impact on caregivers’ levels of knowledge about cerebral palsy? A comparative, descriptive cross-sectional survey of Zimbabwean caregivers
The diagnosis of a child with a life-long disability, such as cerebral palsy (CP), can be catastrophic to parents. It is often accompanied by feelings of despair, anxiety, hopelessness, and the fear of the unknown. Knowledge about CP is thus essential for caregiver adjustment and preparation for the caregiving role. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence regarding the best method for educating caregivers. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on caregivers’ knowledge about cerebral palsy.
This cross-sectional survey included 49 caregivers of children with cerebral palsy. Convenience sampling was used to select participants from two central hospitals in Harare, Zimbabwe. The caregivers were divided into two groups based on whether or not they had attended an educational workshop. The knowledge of cerebral palsy questionnaire (KCPQ) was administered once to assess the caregivers’ CP knowledge.
The caregivers were comparable in terms of sociodemographic characteristics. The mean KCPQ scores for caregivers who attended workshops was 17.4 (SD 1.5), versus 13.8 (SD 2.5) for those without exposure to workshops. The differences between the two groups was statistically significant (U =77.0, Z = -4.45, and P < 0.001).
Our findings suggest that educational workshops may lead to improved CP knowledge among caregivers. This may better equip parents and guardians to meet the extra caregiving demands associated with CP, leading to improved health outcomes for children with CP and their caregivers.