The purpose of this study was to describe the course of capabilities in self-care, mobility, and social function in school-age children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to investigate associations with CP-, child-, and family-characteristics. A clinic-based sample of children with CP (n = 116; 76 males, 40 females; mean age 6 y 3 mo, SD 12 mo) was followed longitudinally in three yearly measurements. Children's capabilities were assessed with the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Functional Skills Scale (PEDI-FSS). Averaged for the total group, significant increases over time were shown in PEDI-FSS scores in all three domains. For self-care, the course was best predicted by a model including level of gross motor function (measured by the Gross Motor Function Classification System) and intellectual capacity (measured by Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices). For mobility, the course was best predicted by a model containing only level of gross motor function. For social function, the course was best predicted by a model comprising level of bimanual function (measured by the Manual Ability Classification System) and paternal educational level. Generally, the increase in capabilities was greater if level of functioning was higher, except for level of paternal education. The findings indicate that there are different sets of determinants for the course of different domains of daily activities. Such different sets of determinants may help to set realistic expectations and to create appropriate treatment plans for different domains of daily activities in school-age children with CP.
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