Parents’ Experiences of Community Based Rehabilitation Therapies: A Qualitative Analysis to Inform Service Delivery

Cynthia Hunter

Purpose: To explore parents’ experiences of community based rehabilitation services offered by a regional centre to provide insight for future service changes.

Methods: Three parents participated in in-depth interviews in this descriptive phenomenological study. Data was coded and analyzed thematically using a descriptive phenomenological approach.

Findings: Four themes describe parents’ experiences: ‘Value of therapy’ represents positive regard and perception of necessity for services. ‘The time it takes’ identifies tension created fitting therapy into family life. ‘Change and its effects’ reveals positive and negative outcomes of personnel change and transitions through service delivery programs. ‘What makes it work’ summarizes perceptions of teamwork and support.

Conclusion: Rehabilitation therapies are valued by families of children with disabilities. Service needs change, but sustained access is important to parent and child success. Reductions of service parallel parent dissatisfaction and concern.