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The Effectiveness of A Neurophysiotherapy Program In Reducing Spasticity In A Girl With Bilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Introduction: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heterogeneous group of non-progressive motor disorders caused by developing brain damage in the prenatal or postnatal period up to the age of two years. The most common form of cerebral palsy is the spastic form, in which the most problems are caused by increased muscle tone, which affects irregular movement patterns and posture. Dog-assisted therapy has been successfully integrated into contemporary neurophysiotherapy practice in children with CP, but its effectiveness has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Methods: In the case study, we used the mixed methods design, more specifically the convergence model of triangulation, and investigated the short-term efficacy of intensive NDT in combination with dog-assisted therapy to reduce spasticity in a girl with CP. In the quantitative part of the case study, we performed an analysis of quantitative data from functional tests to assess spasticity that were used in the subject. In the qualitative part of the case study, we conducted a semi-structured interview with a physiotherapist with special knowledge of NDT and dog assissted therapy. Results: Based on the analysis of the results, we find that contemporary NDT in combination with Dog-assisted therapy significantly reduced spasticity and consequently facilitated selective movement, maintaining proper posture and gross motor function in girl with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Conclusions: Dog assissted therapy can be used as supportive therapy in children with CP, as it has many positive effects, but its status in Slovenia should be systematically regulated.