Pain is frequent in children with cerebral palsy and negatively affects physical activity and participation

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AIM: The aim was to identify the prevalence of long-lasting pain among children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to investigate the association between pain and participation in physical leisure activities.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study based on data from the National Danish Clinical Quality Database of children with CP. The study population consisted of 960 children aged 2-11 years across all Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels. Data were collected at children's regular clinical visits in 2016 or 2017. Information about pain and participation in physical leisure activities were obtained. The association was estimated as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) by logistic regression adjusted for age and sex.

RESULTS: We included data from 817 children (59% boys) median age six years, 52% classified as GMFCS-level I. A total of 36% reported pain and the most frequent pain locations were hips, feet and knees. Children reporting pain had lower odds for participation in physical leisure activities (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53-0.96).

CONCLUSION: A large proportion of children with CP reported pain. There is an indication that long-lasting pain influences participation in physical leisure activities. Pain relieving interventions are important to decrease pain-related suffering and facilitate participation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica
Pages (from-to)301-306
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • cerebral palsy, children, pain, participation, physical leisure activity

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