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Everyday functioning in young children with cerebral palsy: functional skills, caregiver assistance, and modifications of the environment

  • Sigrid Østensjø (a1), Eva Brogren Carlberg (a2) and Nina K Vøllestad (a3)

Abstract

Everyday functioning is described in 95 children with cerebral palsy (CP; 55 males and 40 females; mean age 58 months, SD 18 months, range 25 to 87 months) using the three scales of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI): Functional Skills, Caregiver Assistance, and Modifications of the Environment. Types of CP in the children were hemiplegia, (n=19), spastic/ataxic diplegia, (n=44), spastic quadriplegia, (n=16), dyskinetic, (n=9), and mixed (n=7). Symptoms were grouped by severity according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS): 23% were classified at level I, 21% at level II, 10% at level III, 23% at level IV, and 23% level V. A large variability in functioning in mobility, self-care, and social function was seen because of the heterogeneity of children with CP. Limitations in achievement of activities, need for assistance, and use of assistive devices increased progressively with GMFCS level. Furthermore, these children differed to a great extent from the normative sample of the PEDI. Stepwise regression analysis showed that the GMFCS was a good predictor of everyday functioning with age and learning problems as significantly contributing factors, particularly in self-care and social function. In conclusion, the three scales of the PEDI represent different but strongly related aspects of everyday functioning in young children with CP.

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Corresponding author

Oslo University College, Faculty of Health Sciences, PO Box 4, Olavs Plass, N-0130, Oslo, Norway. E-mail: sigrid.ostensjo@hf.hio.no

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Everyday functioning in young children with cerebral palsy: functional skills, caregiver assistance, and modifications of the environment

  • Sigrid Østensjø (a1), Eva Brogren Carlberg (a2) and Nina K Vøllestad (a3)

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