Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 9, 2010
   Pages 863 — 876

Abstract —  Symptom burden in individuals with cerebral palsy

Adam T. Hirsh, PhD;1* Juan C. Gallegos, BA;1 Kevin J. Gertz, BA;1 Joyce M. Engel, PhD;2 Mark P. Jensen, PhD1

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA; 2Department of Occupational Science and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Abstract — The current study sought to (1) determine the relative frequency and severity of eight symptoms in adults with cerebral palsy (CP), (2) examine the perceived course of these eight symptoms over time, and (3) determine the associations between the severity of these symptoms and psychosocial functioning. Eighty-three adults with CP completed a measure assessing the frequency, severity, and perceived course of eight symptoms (pain, weakness, fatigue, imbalance, numbness, memory loss, vision loss, and shortness of breath). Respond-ents also completed measures of community integration and psychological functioning. The results indicated that pain, fatigue, imbalance, and weakness were the most common and severe symptoms reported. All symptoms were reported to have either stayed the same or worsened, rather than resolved, over time. The symptoms were more closely related to social integration than to home integration, productive activity, or psychological functioning. Memory loss was a unique predictor of social integration in the multivariate context. This study highlighted several common and problematic symptoms experienced by adults with CP. Additional research is needed to identify the most effective treatments for those symptoms that affect community integration and psychological functioning as a way to improve the quality of life of individuals with CP.

Key words: cerebral palsy, community integration, fatigue, imbalance, pain, psychological functioning, quality of life, rehabilitation, signs and symptoms, weakness.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 47, No. 9
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Hirsh AT, Gallegos JC, Gertz KJ, Engel JM, Jensen MP. Symptom burden in individuals with cerebral palsy. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(9):863-76.

Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, December 7, 2010 10:00 AM

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