Program Intensive Habilitation (PIH) for Young Children With Early Brain Damage

  • End date
    Mar 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Sorlandet Hospital HF
Updated on 31 October 2021


By longitudinal, prospective research in children with neurodisabilities including severe motor impairments and their parents to explore the beneficial effects of participating in an intensive habilitation program on the child's adaptive functioning and parental empowerment in order to treat and reduce the consequences of early brain damage.


Evidence-based knowledge about the effects of intensive training programs for children with severe early brain damage is limited since research on this topic has methodological weaknesses and shows conflicting results. As intensive training programs require extensive efforts from the child, parents and professionals and represent major costs, the importance of scientifically proven effects is considerable. This research project aims to measure the effects of an intensive habilitation program for young children with severe early brain damage on the child's adaptive, motor, language and social functioning and on parental empowerment, family functioning and stress. In this randomized controlled trial (RCT) 90 children will be divided into an intervention group participating in a Norwegian developed program of intensified habilitation of 12 months duration and a control group, who will receive "services as usual" during the same time period. Between-group analyses will then be performed. Due to a stepped wedge design, the control participants will then be offered training in year two of participation. Within-group analysis of results before and after training will then be performed for all participants. Standardized measures with high responsiveness in documenting intervention effectiveness will be used as primary outcome measures. Intensive training groups will be offered in all Health Regions in Norway and if successful be implemented as standard clinical practice.

Condition Cerebral Palsy (Pediatric), Parent-Child Relations, brain damage, acquired brain injury, Parenting, Empowerment, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Brain Injury, brain damages, cerebral palsy (cp), cerebral injury
Treatment Program Intensified Habilitation, Habilitation as usual
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05093777
SponsorSorlandet Hospital HF
Last Modified on31 October 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

age 2 - 6 years at the start of the program
a diagnosis of severe cerebral palsy or similar motor disability of non-progressive etiology (GMFCS level IV-V)
being able to participate in group sessions
having parents who want to take an active part in their child's training
least one of the parents must speak fluent Norwegian or English

Exclusion Criteria

children with progressive disorders
co-morbidity like autism spectrum disorder, severe visual and hearing impairments or intractable epilepsy that worsen with physical activity
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