Self-reported physical function is associated with walking speed in adults with cerebral palsy

J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2019;12(2):181-188. doi: 10.3233/PRM-180585.


Purpose: To understand the relationship of walking speed to self-reported pain, fatigue, and physical function in adults with CP.

Methods: Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Accredited clinical motion analysis laboratory in a regional children's hospital.

Participants: 72 ambulatory patients ⩾ 18 years of age, diagnosed with CP, who previously had ⩾ 1 prior instrumented gait analysis at our facility.

Main outcome measures: PROMIS-57 pain interference/intensity, physical function, and fatigue measures and walking speed.

Results: Physical function was significantly lower than able-bodied normal values by 1-2 standard deviations (40.3 ± 8.5). Pain interference (51.4 ± 9.0) and fatigue (50.2 ± 9.2) were not significantly different when compared to able-bodied normal values. Only physical function was statistically correlated with walking speed (p< 0.001), while pain interference (p= 0.39), pain intensity (p= 0.36), and fatigue (p= 0.75) were not. Pain interference, pain intensity, and fatigue were not statistically significant factors in the multiple regression of walking speed. Fatigue could significantly predict physical function, pain interference, and pain scores (p= 0.032, p< 0.001, p< 0.01, respectively), however, fatigue did not directly predict walking speed (p= 0.747).

Conclusions: Self-reported physical function correlates with objectively measured walking speed in young adults with CP while patient-reported pain and fatigue did not, contrary to what would be predicted by the literature.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; PROMIS; adult-outcomes; fatigue; pain; physical function; walking speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills* / physiology
  • Self Report
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult