African Journal of
Health Sciences and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Health Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2805-4202
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHST
  • Start Year: 2019
  • Published Articles: 31

Full Length Research Paper

Sociodemographic and Clinical Characteristics of Children with Erb’s Palsy and the Clinical Specialization of Their Therapists - A Retrospective Study

Echezona Nelson Dominic EKECHUKWU
  • Echezona Nelson Dominic EKECHUKWU
  • Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria;
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Ngozika Roselyn CHIMEREZE
  • Ngozika Roselyn CHIMEREZE
  • Department of Physiotherapy, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Park Lane, Enugu, Nigeria;
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Blessing Blossom Chiagozikam ATUEY
  • Blessing Blossom Chiagozikam ATUEY
  • Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria;
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  • Ezinne EKEDIEGWU
  • Department of Medical Rehabilitation, College of Health Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi
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  • Article Number - 276DE1969633
  • Vol.3(2), pp. 176-186 , December 2021
  •  Received: 19 July 2021
  •  Accepted: 28 October 2021
  •  Published: 31 December 2021


Erb’s palsy accounts for 45% of brachial plexus birth injury (BPEP), with a 0.8-1 per 1,000 births incidence. Management of Erb’s palsy requires the services of a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and other rehabilitation specialists. The socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with Erb’s Palsy and the clinical competencies of their therapists in Southeast Nigeria are unknown. This retrospective exploratory study reviewed all the available case folders of Erb’s palsy patients managed in a named tertiary hospital in the Southeastern part of Nigeria between 2011 and 2020. The data collected were descriptively analyzed. A total of 93 case folders were retrieved and reviewed. The median weight of the patients at birth was 3.75kg. The median age of the children reviewed in these case folders was three weeks (1week - 9 years).  Electrical stimulation (92.5%), home exercise program (84.9%), and passive mobilization (81.7%) were the most commonly prescribed treatment. Although the majority of the cases did not report the patients’ prognosis (32.3%), most of those that reported had good prognosis (44.4%). Most of the Therapists had neither a peer-reviewed publications nor a postgraduate qualification in Paediatric Physiotherapy despite their many years of experience. Majority of the patients with Erb’s palsy have high birth weight. Most commonly used treatment modalities are electrical stimulation, passive mobilization and home exercise programme. Most Therapists have no specialization in Paediatric Physiotherapy.


Keywords: Erb’s palsy, Physiotherapy, Clinical Specialization, Evidence Based Practice.