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Curr Opin Neurol. 2008 Apr;21(2):136-42. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e3282f6a499.

Health and well being of adults with cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Upstate Medical University, New York 13210, USA.



This article reviews what is known about the health and well being of adults with cerebral palsy. It also addresses the factors known to affect the areas identified in the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning model as being critical for optimal health and well being.


As adolescents with cerebral palsy progress to adulthood, they decrease their utilization of health and related services, in part because the transition to adult services is less than optimal. Adults with cerebral palsy have a high prevalence of comorbid and secondary conditions like pain. They have been shown to have regression in several areas of functioning including mobility. Adults with cerebral palsy also have less participation in areas such as social interactions, employment, marriage, and independent living than adults without cerebral palsy. Factors such as cognitive abilities, the severity of the cerebral palsy and age all affect participation. Very few studies have been done in adults to identify interventions that will help them achieve better health and well being.


The International Classification of Functioning can help identify areas in which research is needed to develop interventions that will optimize the health and well being of adults who have cerebral palsy.

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