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J Child Neurol. 2014 Aug;29(8):1125-33. doi: 10.1177/0883073814533422. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Promoting leisure participation as part of health and well-being in children and youth with cerebral palsy.

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CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, The Baddiley-Clark Building, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine University Medical Center Utrecht and De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, the Netherlands Partner of NetChild, Network for Childhood Disability Research in the Netherlands, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Utrecht University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.


Participation in leisure is a human right and is central to the health of children and youth. The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth supported a change in thinking about what outcomes are most relevant in the context of children's health and places participation as one of the constituent elements of health. Participation is also a fundamental rehabilitation and health promotion outcome for children with cerebral palsy as identified by youth, parents, and health professionals. Several studies have identified individual and environmental factors related to participation in leisure; new studies are now determining the best interventions to promote participation. This article summarizes recent findings and proposes important topics for neurologists to consider in exploring leisure pursuits with children with cerebral palsy and their families and in working with rehabilitation professionals to promote engagement in leisure opportunities as part of integrated care.


cerebral palsy; determinants; interventions; leisure; participation

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