Publication Date



Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who participated in an intensive cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) group program addressing child chosen goals. Method: Participants were six parents of children with CP who participated in a CO-OP upper limb task-specific training program. Parents participated in semi-structured interviews conducted via phone. A grounded theory approach was used. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded to identify categories and overarching themes of the parent experience of CO-OP. Results: The theory of CO-OP for children with CP was one of offering a unique and motivating learning experience for both the child and the parent, differing from other therapeutic approaches that families had previously been involved in. Five categories were identified: the unique benefits of CO-OP; the importance of intensity; the child’s motivation; challenging the parent role; and the benefits and challenges of therapy within a group context. Conclusion: Parents felt that CO-OP was a worthwhile intervention that leads to achievement of goals involving upper limb function and had the capacity to be transferred to future goals. Intensity of therapy and a child’s motivation were identified as important factors in improvements. Further studies using quantitative research methods are warranted to investigate the benefits of CO-OP for children with neurological conditions. Implications for rehabilitation The cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance (CO-OP) is a promising upper limb cognitive motor training intervention for children with cerebral palsy. In a small sample, parents perceived that CO-OP leads to achievement of upper limb goals. Intensity of therapy, the child’s motivation and the parents’ ability to “step-back” were identified as important to the success of CO-OP.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.