Health status of children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the health of children with cerebral palsy (CP) using a global assessment of quality of life, condition-specific measures, and assessments of health care use. A multicenter population-based cross-sectional survey of 235 children, aged 2 to 18 years, with moderate to severe impairment, was carried out using Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III (n = 56), IV (n = 55), and V (n = 122). This study group scored significantly below the mean on the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) for Pain, General Health, Physical Functioning, and Impact on Parents. These children used more medications than children without CP from a national sample. Fifty-nine children used feeding tubes. Children in GMFCS level V who used a feeding tube had the lowest estimate of mental age, required the most health care resources, used the most medications, had the most respiratory problems, and had the lowest Global Health scores. Children with the most severe motor disability who have feeding tubes are an especially frail group who require numerous health-related resources and treatments. Also, there is a relationship among measures of health status such as the CHQ, functional abilities, use of resources, and mental age, but each appears to measure different aspects of health and well-being and should be used in combination to reflect children's overall health status.
Liptak, GS; O'Donnell, M; Conaway, M; Chumlea, WC; Wolrey, G; Henderson, RC; Fung, E; Stallings, VA; Samson-Fang, L; Calvert, R; Rosenbaum, P; Stevenson, RD
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