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How congenital Zika virus impacted my child's functioning and disability: a Brazilian qualitative study guided by the ICF

Introduction: The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has had devasting social, medical and financial consequences for families. Both researchers and clinicians are measuring longer-term outcomes to understand the impact of the Zika on child development, functioning and disability. Outcomes and tools used to measure them are very varied and we are unclear how meaningful they are to families and children. This study aimed to identify the parents' perspectives on relevant areas of functioning and disability that should be included as outcome measures for children with congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), as guided by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Methods: This qualitative study included parents or caregivers of children aged 0-5 years with confirmed CZS from two states in northeastern Brazil. Interviews were conducted using focus groups. Content mapping followed the WHO's ICF linking rules. Three raters analysed the content using NVivo V.11. Results: Thirty-two caregivers participated in six focus groups, 88% were mothers with an average age of 30 years. Most children were male (59%) and all were level V (severe) to on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Overall, 825 themes were mapped to 36 ICF categories. Although parents mentioned areas across all ICF domains, they reported that areas of mobility, eating and recreation were most relevant for them. In addition, environmental factors were highly identified as barriers, specifically services, policies and access to assistive devices. The most predominant facilitators within the environment were; immediate family support, kind relationships with therapists and support from the extended family. Conclusions: Although parents emphasised issues related to mobility, their greatest concerns involved environmental factors, such as access and quality of health and social services, systems and policies. These results reinforce the importance of including parents' perspectives when selecting or developing outcome measures for CZS.
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BMJ Publishing Group
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