Akwenda intervention programme for children and youth with cerebral palsy in a low-resource setting in sub-Saharan Africa: protocol for a quasi-randomised controlled study

Gillian Saloojee, Francis Ekwan, Carin Andrews, Diane L Damiano, Angelina Kakooza-Mwesige, Hans Forssberg
2021 BMJ Open  
IntroductionCerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood-onset motor disorder accompanied by associated impairments, placing a heavy burden on families and health systems. Most children with CP live in low/middle-income countries with little access to rehabilitation services. This study will evaluate the Akwenda CP programme, a multidimensional intervention designed for low-resource settings and aiming at improving: (1) participation, motor function and daily activities for children with
more » ... or children with CP; (2) quality of life, stress and knowledge for caregivers; and (3) knowledge and attitudes towards children with CP in the communities.MethodsThis quasi-randomised controlled clinical study will recruit children and youth with CP aged 2–23 years in a rural area of Uganda. Children will be allocated to one of two groups with at least 44 children in each group. Groups will be matched for age, sex and motor impairment. The intervention arm will receive a comprehensive, multidimensional programme over a period of 11 months comprising (1) caregiver-led training workshops, (2) therapist-led practical group sessions, (3) provision of technical assistive devices, (4) goal-directed training and (5) community communication and advocacy. The other group will receive usual care. The outcome of the intervention will be assessed before and after the intervention and will be measured at three levels: (1) child, (2) caregiver and (3) community. Standard analysis methods for randomised controlled trial will be used to compare groups. Retention of effects will be examined at 12-month follow-up.Ethics and disseminationThe study has been approved by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (SS 5173) and registered in accordance with WHO and ICMJE standards. Written informed consent will be obtained from caregivers. Results will be disseminated among participants and stakeholders through public engagement events, scientific reports and conference presentations.Trial registration numberPan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR202011738099314) Pre-results.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047634 pmid:34006038 fatcat:fdvjadr7sfgtvdokrcgjqi5obm