Health care services for adults with cerebral palsy

Aust Fam Physician. 2010 Mar;39(3):165-7.


Background: Increasing numbers of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) are transitioning to adult services from coordinated multidisciplinary paediatric hospital services. Limitations on provision of adult services include inadequate funding, lack of trained staff, and fragmented medical, surgical and allied health teams.

Objective: This article summarises changes in treatments for children with CP over the past 2 decades and the implications for adult health care services. A multidisciplinary clinic for adults with CP at a tertiary adult teaching hospital in Sydney (New South Wales) is described.

Discussion: Over the past 2 decades, interventions such as botulinum toxin-A, intrathecal baclofen infusion, gastrostomy feeding and single event multilevel orthopaedic surgery have improved the lives of children with CP. These interventions are generally delivered within multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs in paediatric hospitals. As the most recent cohorts of children move into adulthood, they, and their carers, have expectations of similarly structured services in the adult health care sector. The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital, together with The Spastic Centre of New South Wales, recognised this need and developed a multidisciplinary consultative clinic for adults with CP.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Baclofen / administration & dosage
  • Baclofen / therapeutic use
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use
  • Cerebral Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Palsy / surgery
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy
  • Health Services*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / administration & dosage
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / therapeutic use
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Young Adult


  • Muscle Relaxants, Central
  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • Baclofen