Child rehabilitation refusal: Why it happens and possible strategies to avoid it

M. Chiappedi, S. Maltagliati, A. Amoruso, R. Dolci, C. Carniglia, M. Bejor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. Despite an obvious need for rehabilitative treatment, some parents deny consent and some others withdraw their children from a previously accepted program. There is limited literature concerning how to prevent this, serving the child's best interest, and the existing is mainly focused on legal implications. Methods. This was a naturalistic study, carried out using data obtained during the diagnostic evaluation of 166 children (all those seen in the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit). For 25 children (15.1%), parents refused or interrupted suggested treatment. Results. Statistical analysis showed that there is a significant difference in terms of impairment in children of parents accepting or refusing the rehabilitative treatment. Treatment discontinuation is related to the diagnosis (higher percentage in severe language disorders or complex developmental disorders), higher reduction in global functioning, higher disability burden, need for integrated treatment, lower age. Conclusion. Findings of this study could be useful in order to better plan rehabilitative options and goals. It is possible that an attempt to increase parental involvement in the rehabilitative program could lead to a decrease in treatment discontinuation. Anyway, more research is needed because we are still far from having a good predictive model to anticipate and, if possible, avoid treatment discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Child
  • Parental consent
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment refusal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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