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Arch Hellen Med, 39(3), May-June 2023, 295-307


The concept of participation and its contribution to the development
of contemporary clinical practice with children and adolescents with disabilities

R. Dimakopoulos,1 M. Papadopoulou,1 R. Pons2
1Laboratory of Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Study of Motion, Department of Physiotherapy, University of West Attica, Athens,
2First Pediatric Clinic, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece

The publication of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged us to redefine our perceptions of health and disability. Participation, as defined by the ICF, is one of the most important components of health, and one of the main rehabilitation goals for children and young people with disabilities; indeed, it is now recognized as one of the basic human rights of individuals with disabilities. There is increasing evidence, however, that the participation of children and young people with motor disabilities is limited, compared with that of their typically developing (TD) peers. In Greece, the various therapeutic interventions are applied solely at the level of the person, directed mainly at body functions and structure, and at activities, with the expectation of a direct effect on participation. The aim of this review is to define the conceptual framework of participation and its particular characteristics, and to identify specific factors and the ways in which they influence participation. This process constitutes the first step towards a more comprehensive evaluation and recording of participation and the integration of specific factors in the intervention programs applied to children and adolescents with motor disabilities in Greece. In addition, despite the fact that participation-focused approaches are still in the early stages of development, the identification of their characteristic individual elements appears to be an important issue.

Key words: Adolescent, Child, ICF, Motor disability, Participation.

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