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The relationship between gross motor function and participation restriction in children with cerebral palsy: an exploratory analysis

Authors


Suzanne McDonough, B Physio, PhD, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland BT37 0QB, UK
E-mail: s.mcdonough@ulster.ac.uk

Abstract

Background  Children with cerebral palsy (CP) experience a variety of functional limitations depending on the severity of their condition that impact on their participation in day-to-day activities.

Methods  The gross motor function and participation restrictions experienced by 60 ambulant children with CP (mean age 11.04 years) were assessed using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88) and the Lifestyle Assessment Questionnaire – Cerebral Palsy (LAQ-CP).

Results  A significant negative correlation existed between the GMFM-88 and the LAQ-CP (r = −0.52, P < 0.001). Significant relationships were also identified between the GMFM-88 and the physical independence, mobility, economic burden and social integration domains of the LAQ-CP.

Conclusion  In ambulatory children with CP, better physical function is associated with a lesser impact of disability; however, the relationship between function and participation is complex. Measures of participation restriction may assist with goal setting appropriate to the specific needs of the child and family.

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