Health status of Australian children with mild to severe cerebral palsy: cross-sectional survey using the Child Health Questionnaire

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2003 Mar;45(3):194-9. doi: 10.1017/s0012162203000379.


The aim of this study was to describe child health and well-being across the spectrum of cerebral palsy (CP) and to report on psychometric properties of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) in this population. Parents of 80 individuals (45 males, 35 females; mean age 11 years 4 months, SD 3 years 6 months; range 5 to 18 years) attending a CP clinic in Victoria, Australia were surveyed. Measures included the CHQ PF-50, a 50-item parent-reported heath status measure; severity of CP, based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System; and cognitive status and presence of epilepsy. CHQ data were compared with normative data collected in Victoria two years earlier. The CHQ demonstrated good psychometric properties for children with CP. Children with CP had markedly poorer health on every CHQ scale than those in the normative sample. Health status did not vary by cognitive status or epilepsy. Children with severe CP had the poorest physical health, but psychosocial health and emotional impact on parents were similar for mild and severe CP showing that these should not be assumed to be less prevalent when CP is mild.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics
  • Severity of Illness Index