The efficacy of appropriate paper-based technology for Kenyan children with cerebral palsy

Catherine Barton, John Buckley, Pauline Samia, Fiona Williams, Suzan R. Taylor, Rachel Lindoewood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Appropriate paper-based technology (APT) is used to provide postural support for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in low-resourced settings. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the impact of APT on the children’s and families’ lives. Materials and methods: A convenience sample of children with CP and their families participated. Inclusion was based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System levels IV and V. APT seating or standing frames were provided for six months. A mixed methods impact of APT devices on the children and families included the Family Impact Assistive Technology Scale for Adaptive Seating (FIATS-AS); the Child Engagement in Daily Life (CEDL) questionnaire; and a qualitative assessment from diary/log and semi-structured interviews. Results: Ten children (median 3 years, range 9 months to 7 years). Baseline to follow-up median (IQR) FIATS-AS were: 22.7 (9.3) and 30.3 (10.2), respectively (p=.002). Similarly mean (SD) CEDL scores for “frequency” changed from 30.5 (13.2) to 42.08 (5.96) (p=.021) and children’s enjoyment scores from 2.23 (0.93) to 2.91 (0.79) (p=.019). CEDL questionnaire for self-care was not discriminatory; seven families scored zero at both baseline and 6 months. Qualitative interviews revealed three key findings; that APT improved functional ability, involvement/interaction in daily-life situations, and a reduced family burden of care. Conclusions: APT devices used in Kenyan children with non-ambulant CP had a meaningful positive effect on both the children’s and their families’ lives.Implications for rehabilitation Assistive devices are often unobtainable for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in low-income countries. APT is a low cost and sustainable solution to make seating and standing devices for disabled children in Kenya. The regular use of a postural support device enhanced the children’s motor skills, ability to function and participate in everyday activities, reduced the burden of care for the families and promoted the children’s social interaction. The postural support devices were highly valued and utilised by the children and families in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cerebral palsy
  • adaptive seating
  • assistive devices
  • paper technology
  • resource-limited country
  • standing frames


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