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Res Dev Disabil. 2007 Jul-Sep;28(4):331-40.

Functional changes in children, adolescents, and young adults with cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Center for Infants and Children with Special Needs, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Universty of Cincinnati College of Medicine, ML 7009, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA. Gina.Krakovsky@cchmc.org


Children with multiple handicaps, including cerebral palsy (CP), often lose or regress in their functional ability through adolescence and adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine functional and psychological changes in children, adolescents and young adults with CP. A retrospective chart review and a prospective telephone interview of 30 patients (11-29 years, M = 16.8, S.D. = 4.9) was conducted. Seventy-three percent of the patients were male (n = 22) and 83% (n = 25) had spastic CP. According to the McNemar's test, four significant functional losses were found including crawling (p = 0.03), standing independently (p = 0.05), walking with or without assistance (p = 0.014), and eating by mouth (p = 0.01). Standing function loss was significantly related to walking function loss (p = 0.02). Sixty-three percent (n = 19) of the patients experienced anxiety and 10% (n = 3) reported depression. Results of this study indicate that a validated yearly assessment tool is needed to measure functional and emotional changes in children with CP rather than relying on parent recall. This data may also lead to a review of the current physical therapy national standards.

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