Pain symptoms in patients with severe cerebral palsy: Prevalence among patients with higher degree of locomotor impairment
Purpose: To evaluate the presence of pain in patients diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy (CP) according to the degree of motor function impairment.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on students of the Association of Parents and Friends of Exceptional Children (APAE) diagnosed with cerebral palsy and with severe locomotor disability (GMFCS levels IV and V). The study included students of both genders and of any age. After signing the consent form, a structured questionnaire was administered to parents or caregivers to collect data on the history of the illness and the Paediatric Pain Profile (PPP). A score ≥ 14 out of a possible 60 points suggests the presence of pain.
Results: A total of 93 subjects were evaluated. Of the 44 subjects classified with GMFCS level IV, 12 (21.4 %) suffer pain and among the 49 subjects classified with level V, 44 (78.6 %) had pain symptoms (ICDDN ≥ 14, PR = 3.29, 95 % CI 2.01 - 5.38, p < 0.01).
Conclusion: The results show that pain is prevalent in individuals with severe CP. Furthermore, it is more prevalent in patients with a higher degree of locomotor impairment (GMFCS – level V).
Keywords: Cerebral palsy, Pain measurement, Locomotor disability, Gross motor function classification system (GMFCS)