Exploring a big data approach to investigate pain affecting individuals with cerebral palsy: a cross-sectional study.

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Abstract

Aim: To explore data linkage and pain medication as a proxy for pain; to assess differences in pain medication between the CP and the general populations; to identify factors associated with pain medication in CP
Methods: This cross-sectional study linked the Northern Ireland CP Register and two administrative health care databases for people resident in Northern Ireland born between 1981 and 2008. Pain medication as a proxy was validated by replicating analyses from the SPARCLE studies. Logistic regression compared pain medication in the CP and general populations. Multi-level regression models assessed factors associated with pain medication in the CP cohort.
Results: Sample size was 701 075 of whom 1430 (0.2%) were people with CP. The validation exercise produced results similar to the SPARCLE studies. More people with CP received pain medication (61% vs. 50.9%) and had twice the odds of being prescribed opioid analgesics (OR=2.81, 95% CI 2.32-3.40). Among those with CP the odds of being prescribed pain medication were higher for females (OR= 1.34, 95 CI 1.06-1.70), younger age (OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.02-2.51), GMFCS V (OR=2.60, 95% CI 1.52-4.47), seizures (OR=2.55, 95% CI 1.68-3.87) and higher deprivation score (OR=2.06, 95% CI 1.41-3.24).
Interpretation: Pain medication is an effective proxy for pain. More people with CP were prescribed pain medication than the general population. Pain medication for people with CP is not only dependent on physiological and clinical characteristics, but also environmental factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Publication statusAccepted - 20 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Pain; Cerebral Palsy; Prescriptions; Children; Data matching

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