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Rev Bras Fisioter. 2010 Sep-Oct;14(5):417-25.

Caracterization of adults with cerebral palsy.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Physical Therapy Departament, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, Brasil.



cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture that cause functional limitation and are attributed to non-progressive disorders which occur in the fetal or infant brain. In recent years, with the increase in life expectancy of individuals with CP, several studies have described the impact of musculoskeletal disabilities and functional limitations over the life cycle.


to characterize adults with CP through sociodemographic information, classifications, general health, associated conditions, physical complications and locomotion.


twenty-two adults with CP recruited from local rehabilitation centers in an inner town of Brazil participated in this study. A questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics, comorbities, and physical complications. A brief physical therapy evaluation was carried out, and the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and the Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) were applied. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistics.


the mean age was 28.7 (SD 10.6) years, 86.4% of participants lived with parents, and 4.5% were employed. Most of the sample consisted of spastic quadriplegic subjects, corresponding to levels IV and V of the GMFCS and MACS. Different comorbidities and important physical complications such as scoliosis and muscle contractures were present. More than half of the participants were unable to walk.


Most participants demonstrated important restrictions in social participation and lower educational level. Adults with CP can be affected by several physical complications and progressive limitations in gait.

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