Implantation of an intrathecal baclofen pump is recommended for children with cerebral palsy as a means to improve care and comfort when other options fail to control severe hypertonia. Making an assessment of a child's spasticity-related limitations in both routine care and activity is a necessary component of selection of intrathecal baclofen candidates. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Care and Comfort Caregiver Questionnaire (RIC CareQ) is a validated, easy-to-use questionnaire that elicits information about the ease of daily activity and caregiving in patients with severe spasticity. Questionnaires completed by caregivers and patients at a pediatric physiatry spasticity clinic over an 11-year period were reviewed to evaluate whether the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Care and Comfort Caregiver Questionnaire captured improved caregiving and comfort of children with cerebral palsy and severe spasticity following intrathecal baclofen pump implantation. The Questionnaire scores showed improvement after intrathecal baclofen pump implantation, consistent with subjective reports of patient and caregiver satisfaction.
Keywords: cerebral palsy; intrathecal baclofen; spasticity.