PURPOSE: To describe the extent of participation and engagement in family activities and explore variables potentially impacting on these factors in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome (RTT) under the age of 21.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Child Participation in Family Activities (Child-PFA) questionnaire was sent to parents in the target group (n = 42). Additionally, age, number of siblings at home, ambulation level, clinical severity and level of hand function were recorded to explore possible impact. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Fishers exact test and cross-tables.
RESULTS: 23 families participated. Highest degrees of participation and engagement were seen in social and stationary family activities. Indoor activities were frequent and showed high levels of participation and engagement, Outdoor activities were infrequent and showed low levels of participation despite a high degree of engagement. Routine activities were frequent but showed moderate to low participation and engagement. A negative association was found between participation in watching a movie and number of siblings living at home, and positive associations between engagement and age in three family activities.
CONCLUSION: Therapists working with this target group may benefit from focusing on engagement in routine activities and modification of family activities.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONTherapists may benefit from focusing on engagement in routine activities in the goal setting process and intervention as they occur on a daily basis, giving the opportunity for development of new skills.Therapists may benefit from focusing on assistive devices or other compensatory strategies for outdoor activities and activities that require a certain amount of hand function.Therapists may benefit from modifying the family's activities so that they require more social and mental participation and focus on experiencing different types of sensory input e.g., sound, tactile, visual or vestibular input rather than taking part in the activity by using their hands.