Parents’ Experiences of Splinting Programs for Babies with Congenital Limb Anomalies

Kim Durlacher

Purpose: To explore parent experiences with participation in splinting programs for their child with a congenital limb anomaly in the child’s first year of life. While parent participation is recognized as integral to successful outcomes of splinting programs for these children, little is known about factors influencing their participation.

Methods: Through purposive sampling, 10 families, recruited from outpatient clinics at a pediatric tertiary care facility, participated in semi-structured interviews in this qualitative study utilizing interpretive description methodology. Constant comparative and concurrent data collection and analysis were employed.

Findings: Themes identified: (1) parents experience an emotional journey; (2) parents value timely and comprehensive information; (3) parents value support networks; and (4) parents identify unique splint program characteristics. Practical suggestions for program enhancements are offered.

Conclusion: Addressing parents’ information, support and individual needs are keys to promoting active parent participation in their child’s splinting program, contributing to positive outcomes for their child.

Accepted for publication:

Durlacher, K., Verchere, C., & Zwicker, J.G. (accepted). Splinting programs for babies with congenital limb anomalies: Parents’ experiences. Platform presentation. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference, May 7-10, 2014, Fredericton, NB.

Durlacher, K. M., Verchere, C., & Zwicker, J. G. (2015). Parents’ experiences of splinting programs for babies with congenital limb abnormalities. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 8(3), 207-217. DOI:10.3233/PRM-150337