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Stability of motor function and associated impairments between childhood and adolescence in young people with cerebral palsy in Europe

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather Dickinson, Emeritus Professor Allan ColverORCiD


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AIM The aim of the study was to investigate whether impairments associated with cerebral palsy were stable between childhood and adolescence.METHOD The Study of Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy Living in Europe (SPARCLE) longitudinal study was conducted in nine European regions. In total, 818 children aged 8 to 12 years were randomly selected from population-based registers; 594 (73%) were followed up at the age of 13 to 17 years (344 males, 250 females; median age 10y 4mo) Research associates visited them in their homes and recorded their motor function and additional impairments. Stability of impairment was assessed using the weighted kappa coefficient.RESULTS The proportion of participants whose level of impairment remained unchanged varied from 63% for fine motor function to 98% for hearing. For gross motor function, communication, and cognitive level, the kappa and the lower bound of its 95% confidence interval (CI) were above 0.75, indicating stability between childhood and adolescence; for fine motor function and feeding, the kappa was above 0.75 but the lower bound of the 95% CI was below 0.75, indicating probable stability; for seizures and vision, the kappa was below 0.75, although the upper bound of the 95% CI was above 0.75, indicating possible change; for hearing the kappa and its entire CI were below 0.75, indicating change. Overall, 81% of participants had no seizures in childhood, of whom 93% were seizure-free in adolescence.INTERPRETATION Motor function and additional impairments were generally stable between childhood and adolescence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nystrand M, Beckung E, Dickinson H, Colver A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Year: 2014

Volume: 56

Issue: 9

Pages: 833-838

Print publication date: 01/09/2014

Online publication date: 19/03/2014

Acceptance date: 31/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0012-1622

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8749

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12435


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Funder referenceFunder name
CNSA (France)
Folke Bernadotte Foundation (Sweden)
IRESP (France)
Ludvig and Sara Elsass Foundation (Denmark)
Riksforbundet for Rorelsehindrade Barn och Ungdomar (Sweden)
Spastics Society and Vanforefonden (Denmark)
Cooperativa Sociale 'GliAnni in Tasca' and Fondazione Carivit, Viterbo (Italy)
German Foundation for the Disabled Child
Goteborg University (Sweden)
Health and Medical Care Committee of the Regional Executive Board, Region Vastra Gotaland (Sweden)
INSERM (France)
MiRe DREES (France)
E26-2010Medical Faculty of the University of Lubeck (Germany)
E40-2009Medical Faculty of the University of Lubeck (Germany)
GRR-586402/14German Ministry of Health
QLG5-CT-2002-00636European Union Research Framework 5 Program
WT 086315 A1AWellcome Trust (UK and Ireland)