Impact of social disadvantage on cerebral palsy severity

Australian Cerebral Palsy Register, CP QUEST

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AimTo investigate the impact of socio-economic disadvantage on indicators of cerebral palsy (CP) severity - motor impairment, intellectual disability, and the presence of severe comorbidities - in children with CP in Australia.

MethodData from the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register were analysed. Socio-economic disadvantage was assessed using maternal age, maternal country of birth, and a measure of neighbourhood socio-economic status (SES) at the time of the child's birth. Descriptive bivariate analysis, trend analysis, risk ratios, and mediation analysis were undertaken to examine the impact of disadvantage on the indicators of CP severity.

ResultsA socio-economic gradient was demonstrated with an increasing proportion of children with non-ambulant status, at least moderate intellectual disability, and the presence of severe comorbidities (having epilepsy, functional blindness, bilateral deafness, and/or no verbal communication) with decreasing neighbourhood SES, adolescent motherhood, and maternal minority ethnicity.

InterpretationIn Australia, socio-economic disadvantage at birth impacts adversely on CP severity at age 5 years. By identifying that socio-economically disadvantaged children with CP are at greater risk of more severe functional outcomes, we can inform targeted interventions at the family and neighbourhood level to reduce these inequities for children with CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-592
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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