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The health of children and young people with cerebral palsy: a longitudinal, population-based study



The health of children and young people with cerebral palsy: a longitudinal, population-based study



International Journal of Nursing Studies 50(6): 747-756



Cerebral palsy (CP) is a chronic condition about which little is known in relation to the long term stability of and factors influencing health. To describe the health status of 4-17 year olds with ambulant CP, compare with the general population and identify factors predicting change in health over time. A longitudinal, clinical survey. A regional hospital-based Gait Analysis Laboratory. Those aged 4-17 years and able to walk at least 10m independently were identified from a case register of people with CP. A total of 184 subjects took part (38% of all eligibles in the region); 154 (84%) returned for a second assessment on average 2.5 years later. The Child Health Questionnaire (Parent-form-50) was completed by 184 parents at time 1, and 156 at time 2. Children and young people with CP have significantly poorer health across a number of domains when compared to children in the general child population. Over time improvements occurred in behaviour (p=0.01), family activities (p<0.001) and physical functioning (p=0.05). Linear regression showed that gross motor function (p<0.001) and cerebral palsy subtype (p<0.05) were associated with changes in physical functioning; age was associated with changes in behaviour (p=0.007) and family activities (p=0.01); and communication ability was significantly associated with changes in family activities (p=0.005). Children and young people with CP have poorer health than their able bodied peers but relatively stable health over 2.5 years. Where change occurred, it was for the better.

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Accession: 036869192

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21329925

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.01.011


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