Pain in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy: a population-based registry study

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Abstract

Aim:

We assessed prevalence and location of pain in a total population of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), age and gender.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study was based on the last assessment of children aged 1–14 years in the combined Swedish follow-up programme and national quality register programme for CP. All were born 2001–2012 and reported to the registry in 2013–2014. Logistic regression was used to regress age, gender and the GMFCS level on the presence of pain. We also assessed pain sites among GMFCS groups.

Results:

We included 2777 children (57% boys) at a median age of 7 years; 32.4% reported pain, with significantly more girls than boys experiencing pain and significantly more children at GMFCS levels III and V than GMFCS I. Pain frequency increased with age and differences among GMFCS levels were found in the lower extremities and abdomen. Pain in the abdomen and hips was most frequent at GMFCS V, knee pain at level III and foot pain at level I.

Conclusion:

Our results showed that although a lower prevalence than in many other studies, pain constituted a significant problem in children and adolescents with CP.

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