Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Anne Haskins

Second Advisor

Breann Lamborn

Third Advisor

Gail Bass/Devon Olson Lambert

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019), 1,645 babies are born with spina bifida each year. There are three different types of spina bifida, with myelomeningocele being the most common. As for prevalence, “Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by spina bifida, when compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women” (CDC, 2019, para. 2). Children diagnosed with spina bifida may face motor, sensory, and cognitive impairments that can affect their quality of life and participation in occupations. According to Murray et al. (2015), children between the ages of 8 and 15 with spina bifida reported lower health-related quality of life compared to other children with chronic health conditions, making children with spina bifida a population of great interest to occupational therapists. Furthermore, the lifetime cost of care for a person with spina bifida is $791,900 (CDC, 2019). According to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) (2020), about 20% of SCIs occur in children and adolescents. Around 1,455 children are admitted to hospitals each year for treatment for SCIs in the United States (ASIA, 2020). The leading cause of pediatric SCIs are car accidents followed by falls. Males are also two times more likely to obtain a SCI than females (Chin, 2018).

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