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Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2009 Aug;20(3):549-65. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2009.04.003.

Clinical applications of outcome tools in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.

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Pediatric Orthopedics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1900 Richmond Road, Lexington, KY 40502, USA.


This article provides an overview of outcome tools commonly used to assess ambulatory children with cerebral palsy, research findings from a recent large multi-center study, and ways to integrate the research findings into clinical practice. The information presented in this article and in the referenced articles provides information on: outcome tools' discriminatory ability and responsiveness; readily available comparison data on 7 commonly used outcome tools that can be used at the point of care; prediction equations for the Parent report Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) by age and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level; and minimum clinically important difference thresholds by GMFCS level. This information can help clinicians select the best outcome tools to discriminate among severity levels and avoid ceiling effects. The scores provided allow direct comparisons between a specific patient and a matched cohort, assisting clinicians in the creation of comprehensive and individualized evaluation and management plans. Use of appropriate outcome tools to assess children with cerebral palsy can lead to best practices and reduced costs in the clinical setting.

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