Health status of children with cerebral palsy living in Europe: A multi-centre study

Eva Beckung*, M. White-Koning, M. Marcelli, V. McManus, S. Michelsen, J. Parkes, K. Parkinson, U. Thyen, C. Arnaud, J. Fauconnier, A. Colver

*Corresponding author for this work
36 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this report is to describe the health status of 8-12-year-old children with cerebral palsy (CP) of all severities in Europe using the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ). Method: A total of 818 children with CP from nine centres in defined geographical areas participated. CP type, gross and fine motor function, additional impairments were classified and family data were obtained. The CHQ was used to measure the parent's perception of their child's physical (PHY) and psychosocial (PSY) health. Results: PHY scores were lower than the reference samples with a median of 46. The severity of gross motor function influenced the CHQ scores significantly in the PHY scale with the lowest scores for children with least gross motor function. There were significant differences between the CP types in PHY with the higher scores for children with unilateral spastic and the lowest scores for children with bilateral spastic and dyskinetic CP type. Fine motor function severity significantly affected both the PHY and PSY scales. The severity of intellectual impairment was significantly associated with CHQ scores in most dimensions with higher scores for higher IQ level in PHY and PSY. Children with seizures during the last year had a significantly lower health compared with children without seizures. The results of the multivariate regression analyses (forward stepwise regression) of CHQ scores on CP subtype, gross and fine motor function, cognitive function, additional impairments, seizures, parental education and employment revealed gross motor function, cognitive level and type of school attended were significant prognostic factors. Conclusion: This report is based on the largest sample to date of children with CP. Health status as measured using the CHQ was affected in all children and was highly variable. Gross motor function level correlates with health from the PHY well-being perspective but the PSY and emotional aspects do not appear to follow the same pattern.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)806-814
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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