A survey of 170 families receiving early intervention services in three programs in Miami, Florida was undertaken to elucidate maternal perception of physical therapy effectiveness, maternal satisfaction with physical therapy, and perceived maternal understanding of physical therapy. Of 122 questionnaires which were returned, 31 families were Cuban-American and 33 families were African-American. The remaining questionnaires which were returned were distributed among 22 different ethnic groups. The Student t test was conducted to assess differences between the two largest groups. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 20 families to obtain qualitative information regarding cultural aspects related to the survey data. The results indicated that both groups were generally satisfied with the physical therapy services and that the services were effective. The groups differed significantly, however, in their understanding of physical therapy goals, treatment techniques, and adaptive equipment. Cuban Americans scored higher regarding their perceived understanding of physical therapy goals, treatment techniques, and adaptive equipment. The interview data suggest that some of these differences may be related to cultural issues. These findings indicate the need to understand and respect the cultural beliefs of clients receiving physical therapy services to promote communication between the families and the physical therapist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation