Health status of school-aged children with cerebral palsy: information from a population-based sample

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002 Apr;44(4):240-7. doi: 10.1017/s0012162201002018.


In this study parents' systematic accounts of the health status of 408 school-aged children with cerebral palsy (CP) are reported (221 males, 187 females; mean age 8 years 5 months, SD 1 year 11 months; range 5 to 13 years), as are relations between severity of functional motor impairment and eight functional health status domains. Data were collected as part of a longitudinal study of the motor development of a population-based, stratified, random sample of children with CP from across Ontario, Canada. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) was used to classify severity of CP and functional health status was described with the eight-level Health Utilities Index-Mark 3. Rates of functional limitations in Mobility, Dexterity, Speech, and Vision were statistically significantly associated with GMFCS levels (all p<0.01), with correlation values (tau-b) of 0.82, 0.58, 0.46, and 0.36, respectively. Functional limitations in hearing (tau-b=0.16; p=0.04) and cognition (tau-b=0.27; p<0.01) were both statistically significantly associated with GMFCS levels, though correlations were low. Neither emotion (tau-b=0.03; p=0.24) nor pain (tau-b=0.07; p=0.37) was associated with degree of functional limitation as described by the GMFCS. Clinical and epidemiological implications of findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disabled Children*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Population Surveillance
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Speech
  • Vision, Ocular