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Health status of children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy.

date: 06/01/2001
author: Liptak GS, O’Donnell M, Conaway M, Chumlea WC, Wolrey G, Henderson RC, Fung E, Stallings VA, Samson-Fang L, Calvert R, Rosenbaum P, Stevenson RD.
publication: Dev Med Child Neurol. 2001 Jun;43(6):364-70. Comment in: Dev Med Child Neurol. 2001 Jun;43(6):363.
pubmed_ID: 11409824
The aim of the study was to evaluate the health of children with cerebral palsy (CP) using a global assessment of quality of life, condition-specific measures, and assessments of health care use. A multicenter population-based cross-sectional survey of 235 children, aged 2 to 18 years, with moderate to severe impairment, was carried out using Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III (n = 56), IV (n = 55), and V (n = 122). This study group scored significantly below the mean on the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) for Pain, General Health, Physical Functioning, and Impact on Parents. These children used more medications than children without CP from a national sample. Fifty-nine children used feeding tubes. Children in GMFCS level V who used a feeding tube had the lowest estimate of mental age, required the most health care resources, used the most medications, had the most respiratory problems, and had the lowest Global Health scores. Children with the most severe motor disability who have feeding tubes are an especially frail group who require numerous health-related resources and treatments. Also, there is a relationship among measures of health status such as the CHQ, functional abilities, use of resources, and mental age, but each appears to measure different aspects of health and well-being and should be used in combination to reflect children’s overall health status.

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The effect of positioning on the hand function of boys with cerebral palsy.

date: 08/01/1989
author: Noronha J, Bundy A, Groll J.
publication: Am J Occup Ther. 1989 Aug;43(8):507-12.
pubmed_ID: 2774051
The effect of positioning (sitting and prone standing) on the hand function of 10 boys (mean age = 12.5 years, SD = 1.2 years) with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy was studied. Two groups of subjects were tested twice (Tests 1 and 2) with the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (Jebsen, Taylor, Treischmann, Trotter, & Howard, 1969; Taylor, Sand, & Jebsen, 1973) to measure rate of manipulation. In addition, a scale modified from Hohlstein (1982) was used to measure quality of grasp on each subtest of the Jebsen-Taylor test. No significant differences between the mean scores of the two groups were found on the total scores of the Jebsen-Taylor test, either between Tests 1 and 2 or between sitting and prone standing. When the data from Tests 1 and 2 were combined, it was found that on one subtest–simulated feeding–the subjects performed significantly faster while in a prone standing position. On another subtest–picking up small objects–the subjects performed significantly faster while in a sitting position. Except during the simulated feeding subtest, the quality of the subjects’ grasp was observed to be mature and tailored to the objects manipulated. This paper presents considerations for analyzing positioning in relation to upper extremity tasks.

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Measurement of muscle thickness as quantitative muscle evaluation for adults with severe cerebral palsy.

date: 09/01/2006
author: Ohata K, Tsuboyama T, Ichihashi N, Minami S.
publication: Phys Ther. 2006 Sep;86(9):1231-9.
pubmed_ID: 16959671

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The muscle strength of people with severe cerebral palsy (CP) is difficult to quantify because of cognitive and selective motor control problems. However, if muscle strength is related to muscle atrophy caused by activity limitation, quantitative morphological analysis such as analysis of muscle thickness (MTH), measured by ultrasound imaging, may be used to examine the muscle condition in daily use. The primary purpose of this investigation was to clarify the difference in MTH of several muscles by the motor functions used in daily activity in adults with CP with different levels of severity of involvement. The secondary purpose was to examine whether MTH is associated with age, body characteristics, and muscle spasticity. SUBJECTS: Data were collected from a convenience sample of 25 adults with severe CP. METHODS: The MTH of the biceps brachii (BB), quadriceps femoris (QF), triceps surae (TS), and longissimus (LO) muscles was measured with an ultrasound imaging device. The severity of the condition was classified with the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), and functional status in sitting and standing was evaluated with a questionnaire administered to the staff assisting in the care of the subjects. Muscle spasticity was assessed with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). RESULTS: The MTH of the QF, LO, and TS showed significant differences according to the GMFCS level, and the MTH of the QF and LO differed significantly depending on functional status during activities of daily living. Age and body mass index showed no significant correlation with the MTH of any muscle. Body weight was correlated with the MTH of the BB and LO. The girth of the extremity was correlated only with the MTH of the BB. There was no relationship between MTH and MAS scores. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the MTH of the QF and LO differed significantly depending on the subjects’ motor function during daily activity. The measurement of MTH may be an alternative method of quantitative muscle evaluation for people with severe CP for whom direct measurement of muscle strength is difficult.

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Effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy.

date: 03/01/2007
author: Pin TW.
publication: Pediatr Phys Ther. 2007 Spring;19(1):62-73. Erratum in: Pediatr Phys Ther. 2007 Summer;19(2):172-8.
pubmed_ID: 17304099

PURPOSE: Physiotherapists commonly use static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy, which are believed to stimulate antigravity muscle strength, prevent hip dislocation, improve bone mineral density, improve self-esteem, improve feeding, assist bowel and urinary functions, reduce spasticity, and improve hand function. The effectiveness of these exercises has not been thoroughly investigated. This systematic review aimed to examine the research evidence of the effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy. METHODS: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. RESULTS: The evidence supporting the effectiveness of static weight-bearing exercises in children with cerebral palsy, except the findings of increased bone density and temporary reduction in spasticity, remains limited because of an inadequate number of studies undertaken, inadequate rigor of the research designs and the small number of subjects involved. CONCLUSION: Clinicians should carefully consider all available evidence before making a decision regarding the potential effectiveness of static weight-bearing for the targeted outcomes.

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Management of hip dislocation with postural management.

date: 03/01/2002
author: Pountney T, Mandy A, Green E, Gard P.
publication: Child Care Health Dev. 2002 Mar;28(2):179-85.
pubmed_ID: 11952654

BACKGROUND: Hip dislocation in children with cerebral palsy has a well-documented history and morbidity. OBJECTIVE: This paper presents a retrospective study of children with bilateral cerebral palsy who had various postural management and its effect on hip deformity. The most widely accepted theoretical model of hip subluxation/dislocation is that an imbalance in muscle length and strength around the hip leads to acetabular dysplasia and consequent hip subluxation. Maintenance of muscle length and strength and loadbearing is therefore a logical prevention. Research on normal infants’ postures has provided biomechanical data to form the theoretical basis of 24 h postural management equipment. METHODS: The notes and X-rays of 59 children with bilateral cerebral palsy from East and West Sussex and Oxfordshire were examined and measured to determine whether a relationship existed between postural management and the level of hip subluxation/dislocation. X-rays were measured using Reimers’ hip migration percentage. Postural management support was divided into three groups for analysis. Category 1: use of a 24-h postural management approach using Chailey Adjustable Postural Support (CAPS) systems in lying, sitting and standing; category 2: two items of CAPS (either lying/sitting or sitting/standing supports); category 3: use of the CAPS seat only and/or any other postural supports. Hip status was recorded for analysis as both hips safe (under 33% migrated), or one/both hips subluxed. RESULTS: Children using ‘All CAPS’ before hip subluxation maintained significantly more hip integrity than other groups (chi2 P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Postural management interventions have an important role in the prevention of hip dysplasia.

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Fractures in patients with cerebral palsy.

date: 03/01/2007
author: Presedo A, Dabney KW, Miller F.
publication: J Pediatr Orthop. 2007 Mar;27(2):147-53.
pubmed_ID: 17314638

Fractures in children with cerebral palsy (CP) constitute a common clinical problem. The purpose of this retrospective study is to analyze the demographics, identify risk factors, and delineate guidelines for treatment in 156 children with CP who were treated for fractures. To identify changes in demographics, children treated before 1992 (56 patients) were compared with those treated from 1992 to 2000. The latter group of children was compared with an age- and gender-matched group of CP children without fractures. Ambulatory status, the presence of contractures, nutritional status, seizure medication, the type of treatment received, final outcomes, and complications were recorded and statistically analyzed. The mean age at the time of the first fracture was 10 years. Sixty-six percent of patients had spastic quadriplegia, of whom 83% were nonambulatory. Eighty-two percent of fractures occurred in the lower limbs. Forty-eight percent were delayed in diagnosis with no cause determined. Children treated after 1992 had higher incidence of multiple fractures, lower incidence contractures, and a younger age at first fracture. This group showed a statistically significant difference for anticonvulsant therapy (P=0.001), CP pattern (P=0.005), ambulatory status (P=0.001), and osteopenia (P=0.001) when compared with the group of CP patients without fractures. Eighty percent of fractures were treated with a soft bulky dressing. Complications occurred in 17% of patients. The greatest risk factor for fracture is the nonambulatory CP child on anticonvulsant therapy. These risk factors seem to have increased, resulting in a higher prevalence of low energy fractures. Future research must focus on the underlying mechanisms and prevention of this condition.

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Complications of osteotomies in severe cerebral palsy.

date: 03/01/1999
author: Stasikelis PJ, Lee DD, Sullivan CM.
publication: J Pediatr Orthop. 1999 Mar-Apr;19(2):207-10.
pubmed_ID: 10088690

Seventy-nine consecutive children with cerebral palsy who underwent osteotomies about the hip for subluxation or dislocation were studied retrospectively to determine risk factors that would correlate with postoperative complications of death, fracture, or decubitus ulcer. Except for the three patients who died, all of the children had > or = 1 year of follow-up. Twenty (25%) patients had at least one complication. Three children died; one at 1 week, one at 2 weeks, and one at 5 months after surgery. Sixteen patients sustained 25 fractures. All were managed with cast or splint immobilization in the clinic. Five patients developed decubitus ulcers requiring > or = 2 weeks of local care, but none required skin grafts or flaps. Complications occurred in 13 (68%) of 19 children with gastrostomies or tracheostomies but in only seven (12%) of the remaining 60 children. Only one (8%) of 13 ambulatory patients had a complication compared with 19 (29%) of 66 nonambulatory patients. In conclusion, ambulatory function correlates well with the risk of complications after osteotomies. A nonambulatory patient with a gastrostomy or tracheostomy is at even greater risk. Fortunately the fractures and ulcers observed in this series healed uneventfully with no operative intervention.

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Measurement of growth in children with developmental disabilities.

date: 09/01/1996
author: Stevenson RD.
publication: Dev Med Child Neurol. 1996 Sep;38(9):855-60.
pubmed_ID: 8810718

The clinical assessment of growth is a challenging, but essential, aspect of managing the health care of children with developmental disabilities. However, with standard equipment, modest training and some patience, almost all children can be measured reliably. Once reliable measurements are obtained, the interpretation or ‘clinical meaning’ of the measurements depends on their comparison with reference data from normal populations or, when available, with condition-specific reference data. More research is needed to improve our understanding of the clinical meaning of obtained measurements. The range of normal growth for some children with disabilities, particularly CP, remains to be defined. Research in the next ten years will, hopefully, lead to the development of growth charts for children with CP, and perhaps children with other conditions, which will facilitate the clinical interpretation of growth data and lead to improved management of health care for children with developmental disabilities.

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Prevention of severe contractures might replace multilevel surgery in cerebral palsy: results of a population-based health care programme and new techniques to reduce spasticity.

date: 07/01/2005
author: Hägglund G, Andersson S, Düppe H, Lauge-Pedersen H, Nordmark E, Westbom L
publication: J Pediatr Orthop B. 2005 Jul;14(4):269-73.
pubmed_ID: 15931031

During the 1990s three new techniques to reduce spasticity and dystonia in children with cerebral palsy (CP) were introduced in southern Sweden: selective dorsal rhizotomy, continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion and botulinum toxin treatment. In 1994 a CP register and a health care programme, aimed to prevent hip dislocation and severe contractures, were initiated in the area. The total population of children with CP born 1990-1991, 1992-1993 and 1994-1995 was evaluated and compared at 8 years of age. In non-ambulant children the passive range of motion in hip, knee and ankle improved significantly from the first to the later age groups. Ambulant children had similar range of motion in the three age groups, with almost no severe contractures. The proportion of children treated with orthopaedic surgery for contracture or skeletal torsion deformity decreased from 40 to 15% (P = 0.0019). One-fifth of the children with spastic diplegia had been treated with selective dorsal rhizotomy. One-third of the children born 1994-1995 had been treated with botulinum toxin before 8 years of age. With early treatment of spasticity, early non-operative treatment of contracture and prevention of hip dislocation, the need for orthopaedic surgery for contracture or torsion deformity is reduced, and the need for multilevel procedures seems to be eliminated.

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Whole-body vibration training compared with resistance training: effect on spasticity, muscle strength and motor performance in adults with cerebral palsy.

date: 09/01/2006
author: Ahlborg L, Andersson C, Julin P.
publication: J Rehabil Med. 2006 Sep;38(5):302-8.
pubmed_ID: 16931460

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect on spasticity, muscle strength and motor performance after 8 weeks of whole-body vibration training compared with resistance training in adults with cerebral palsy. METHODS: Fourteen persons with spastic diplegia (21-41 years) were randomized to intervention with either whole-body vibration training (n=7) or resistance training (n=7). Pre- and post-training measures of spasticity using the modified Ashworth scale, muscle strength using isokinetic dynamometry, walking ability using Six-Minute Walk Test, balance using Timed Up and Go test and gross motor performance using Gross Motor Function Measure were performed. RESULTS: Spasticity decreased in knee extensors in the whole-body vibration group. Muscle strength increased in the resistance training group at the velocity 30 degrees /s and in both groups at 90 degrees /s. Six-Minute Walk Test and Timed Up and Go test did not change significantly. Gross Motor Function Measure increased in the whole-body vibration group. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that an 8-week intervention of whole-body vibration training or resistance training can increase muscle strength, without negative effect on spasticity, in adults with cerebral palsy.