Clubfoot treatment with Ponseti method – Parental distress during plaster casting
Christian Walter, Saskia Sachsenmaier, Markus Wünschel, Martin Teufel, Marco Götze
Background: Clubfoot is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal congenital defects. Gold standard treatment of idiopathic clubfoot is the conservative Ponseti method, including the reduction of deformity with weekly serial plaster casting and percutaneous Achilles tenotomy. It is well known that parents of children with severe and chronic illnesses are mentally stressed, but in recent studies regarding clubfoot treatment, parents were only asked about their satisfaction with the treatment.
... gely unknown is parental distress before and during plaster casting in clubfoot.Therefore, we want to determinate first, how pronounced the parents' worries are before treatment and if they decrease during the therapy. Second, we hypothesized that parents faced with an extreme deformity (high Pirani-Score), reveal more distress, than parents whose children have a less pronounced deformity (low Pirani-Score). Therefore, we wanted to investigate weather the Pirani score correlates with the parents' mental resilience in relation to the therapy of the child as a global distress parameter.Methods: To answer this question, we developed a questionnaire with the following emphases: Physical capacity, mental resilience, motion score, parents score and child score with point scores 1 (not affected) to 6 (high affected). Subsequently, we interviewed 20 parents whose children were treated with clubfeet and determined the Pirani score of the infants at the beginning (T0) and at the end (TE) of the treatment with plaster casting.Results: High values were obtained in child score (Mean (M) = 3.11), motion score (M = 2.63) and mental resilience (M = 2.25) and. During treatment, mental resilience improved (p = 0.015) significantly. The Spearmann correlation coefficient between Pirani-Score (T0) and mental resilience (T0) is 0.21, so the initial hypothesis had to be rejected. Conclusion: The issues of the children are in the focus of parental worries concerning clubfoot treatment, especially the assumed future motion and the assumed ability to play with other children. Particular emphasis should be placed on educating parents about the excellent long-term results in the function of the treated feet especially as this topic shows the greatest parental distress.