Abstract

In this retrospective, longitudinal cohort study, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory was used to predict the effects of cerebral palsy (CP) on self-care, mobility, and social function for 2,768 children, adolescents, and young adults with CP. Multiple linear regression was used to predict functional performance and level of caregiver assistance and found that CP severity, as measured by the Gross Motor Function Classification System and the Manual Ability Classification System, had the strongest effect. More severe levels of gross motor and fine motor dysfunction resulted in lower levels of self-care, mobility, and social function and increased levels of caregiver assistance. This study provides critical evidence regarding the importance of CP severity as a predictor of self-care, mobility, and social function that can be tested in future research to improve therapy treatment planning, caregiver education, and clinical resource utilization.

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