Fidelity of family centered care model to early disability diagnosis and rehabilitation in the United Arab Emirates

Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Emma Pearson, Hala Elhoweris, Najwa Alhosani, Ashraf Mustafa, Maria Efstratopoulou, Rachael Takriti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The role of parents in supporting early intervention for young children with disabilities is critical. Indeed, models of family centered care (FCC), which emphasis strong partnerships between health professionals and families in disability health services delivery are now widely associated with best practice. While FCC is consistently argued to be an appropriate model for disability service delivery, its utilization is limited primarily to Western countries such as Australia and the United States. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have prioritized early childhood development and are thus in search of best practices for delivery of early intervention for children and their families. Objective The aim of this study was to explore the appropriateness of the FCC model in disability service delivery in the UAE. This study was conducted from the perspectives of health professionals who are involved in disability diagnosis, referral and ongoing support for families and children with disabilities. Method A total of 150 health professionals were recruited from health facilities, rehabilitation centers and schools in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi. The 27-item Measure of Process of Care for Service Providers (MPOC-SP) was used for data collection. The data were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis to confirm applicability of the model to this context. Multivariate analysis of variance and moderation analysis were also conducted, to ascertain the relationship between participants' satisfaction levels with their ability to diagnose, refer and provide on-going support and their likelihood of practicing key components of FCC. Result Computation of confirmatory factor analysis provided support for applicability of the MPOCSP in the UAE context. Further inspection showed moderate to large correlations between the four components of FCC measured by MPOC-SP, providing further support for utilization of FCC in disability health service delivery in the UAE. Conclusion The study concludes with a call to policymakers in the UAE to consider developing disability health policy based on key components of FCC. This could be supplemented by development of training modules on FCC to upskill health professionals involved in disability diagnosis and rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0301094
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4 April
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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