The prevalence, distribution, and effect of pain among adolescents with cerebral palsy

Pediatr Phys Ther. Spring 2010;22(1):26-33. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181ccbabb.


Purpose: : To describe the prevalence, distribution, and intensity of pain and determine the relationship between pain intensity and effect on daily activities in adolescents with cerebral palsy.

Methods: : A sample of 104 girls and 126 boys, mean ages 14.7 (SD = 1.7) and 14.8 (SD = 1.7) years, were asked "Have you experienced physical pain in the past month?"

Results: : Sixty-four percent of girls and 50% of boys reported pain. Pain was most frequent in the feet and ankles, knees, and lower back of girls and boys at Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I to IV. Foot and ankle and knee pain were also frequent at level V. The Spearman rho value between intensity and effect on daily activities was 0.75 (p < 0.01) and 0.82 (p < 0.01) for girls and boys.

Conclusions: : The high prevalence of pain and its effect on daily activities suggests a need for greater focus on health promotion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Back Pain
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors