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Aim

The purpose was to describe posture, ability to change position, and association between posture and contractures, hip dislocation, scoliosis, and pain in young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods

Cross-sectional data of 102 people (63 males, 39 females; age range 19–23y, median 21y) out of a total population with CP was analysed in relation to Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I (n=38), II (n=21), III (n=13), IV (n=10), and V (n=20). The CP subtypes were unilateral spastic (n=26), bilateral spastic (n=45), ataxic (n=12), and dyskinetic CP (n=19). The Postural Ability Scale was used to assess posture. The relationship between posture and joint range of motion, hip dislocation, scoliosis, and pain was analysed using logistic regression and Spearman's correlation.

Results

At GMFCS levels I to II, head and trunk asymmetries were most common; at GMFCS levels III to V postural asymmetries varied with position. The odds ratios (OR) for severe postural asymmetries were significantly higher for those with scoliosis (OR=33 sitting), limited hip extension (OR=39 supine), or limited knee extension (OR=37 standing). Postural asymmetries correlated to hip dislocations: supine (rs=0.48), sitting (rs=0.40), standing (rs=0.41), and inability to change position: supine (rs=0.60), sitting (rs=0.73), and standing (rs=0.64).

Conclusions

Postural asymmetries were associated with scoliosis, hip dislocations, hip and knee contractures, and inability to change position.