Profile of children with cerebral palsy attending outpatient physiotherapy clinics in southwest Nigeria
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a major cause of childhood disability. The objective of this study was to investigate the causes, types, severity, history of pregnancy, delivery, maternal care, demographic and clinical characteristics of children with CP and their parents as seen in outpatient physiotherapy clinics of the selected hospitals in Southwest Nigeria.
A cross-sectional survey of children with CP and their parents was conducted in twelve hospitals in Southwest Nigeria. Information about the participants was obtained from hospital case records, physical examination and interviews. Data were summarized using descriptive and Chi-square tests with Alpha level put at 0. 05.
Two hundred and thirteen children with CP were seen, aged 18 months to 12 years, and most of them were male (59.2%). The majority (41.0%) of the mothers were in the age range of 28 to 33 years. Jaundice (39.9%), asphyxia (26.8%) and infection (17.4%) were the leading causes of CP and spastic CP was the most common type (81.7%). Quadriplegic CP presentation was predominant (67.1%), and leading co-morbidities were mental retardation (31%) and speech impairment (26.3%). About 50% of the children severely affected by CP fell within Levels 4 and 5 of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) of CP severity.
It was concluded that cerebral palsy in Southwest Nigeria is mainly associated with jaundice, asphyxia and infections. Spastic cerebral palsy was most common and quadriplegic affectation was predominant. It is recommended that factors promoting perinatal problems should be curtailed.
Keywords: cerebral palsy, jaundice, asphyxia, infections, childhood disabilities