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Disabil Rehabil. 2004 Sep 2;26(17):1023-31.

Descriptions of functioning and health and relations to a gross motor classification in adults with cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Department of Health and Society/Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to describe functioning and health, and explore the use of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in an adult population with cerebral palsy (CP).


From a cohort of 199 persons, 48 persons were selected for structured interviews and functional assessments regarding activities of daily living, motor function, range of motion, pain and general health.


A third of the population had deteriorated in function from adolescence to adulthood according to the GMFCS. The majority were independent in personal ADL, but many of those were dependent in instrumental ADL. Motor function scores reflected problems in walking ability, and limited ROM and pain were common in all functional levels. General health was lower than in a general population. GMFCS seems valid for classifying adults with CP since it is correlated with instruments measuring motor function and ADL in terms of dependence.


Decreased functional ability and secondary musculoskeletal problems are common in adults with CP and general health can be associated with those problems. It is important to further explore health aspects and relations between health status and self-perceived health. The GMFCS is a useful tool, especially for comparisons throughout the life span, but in order to use in an adult population further development is needed.

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