Completeness and correctness of cerebral palsy diagnoses in two health registers: implications for estimating prevalence

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2017 Apr;59(4):402-406. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13341. Epub 2016 Nov 29.


Aim: To assess completeness and correctness of cerebral palsy (CP) diagnoses in the Cerebral Palsy Register of Norway (CPRN) and the Norwegian Patient Register (NPR), and to estimate CP prevalence.

Method: Among 747 883 Norwegian residents born from 1996 to 2007, 2231 had a diagnosis of CP in the NPR while 1441 were registered in the CPRN. Children registered in the CPRN were considered to have a valid CP diagnosis. For those with a diagnosis of CP only in the NPR, two paediatricians reviewed the hospital records. The prevalence rate of CP with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was calculated on the basis of the combined data sets.

Results: One thousand three hundred and ninety-eight children were registered with a diagnosis of CP in both registers, 43 children were only registered in the CPRN, and 824 only in the NPR. The review of hospital records revealed that 464 (59.5%) had CP. Thus, the NPR was 98% complete, and for 86% the diagnosis was correct. The completeness of the CPRN was 76%, while the diagnosis was considered correct for all children (100%). The resulting prevalence of CP was 2.5 (95% CI 2.4-2.7) per 1000.

Interpretation: To gain accurate estimates of prevalence rates of CP, it is essential to combine data sources and to validate register data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies