Health service use among adults with CP in Ireland

M. Manikandan, C. Kerr, A. Walsh, J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Background and Objective(s): People with cerebral palsy (CP) continue to present with ongoing health issues from childhood in addition to the issues related to ageing. Adults with CP experience increased risk of non-communicable diseases, musculoskeletal pain, reduced balance, decline in mobility, falls and fatigue. As a result, individuals with CP and their families often require extensive health services. Studies among adults with CP reported difficulties accessing appropriate health services to meet their needs. The National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline has recommended continuity of care for adults with CP, tailored to their needs. Anecdotally, adults with CP and health professionals report that health services are inadequate, after 18 years in Ireland. The study aims to describe the proportion of health services use and unmet needs relating to health services among adults with CP in Ireland; and to examine the associations of factors relating to environment and population and health service use among adults with CP.

Study Design: Cross-sectional design.

Study Participants & Setting: Adults with CP aged 18 and above living in Ireland, who are currently using services, or those would need services in the next 5 years from the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD). NPSDD is a voluntary database that includes data on therapeutic, specialist, respite, day services, support services and unmet needs in Ireland.

Materials/Methods: A cross-sectional study using data from the NPSDD in Ireland. Descriptive analysis of demographics, health services, unmet needs will be conducted. A logistic regression analysis of the factors associated with health service use were conducted using STATA 16.

Results: Participants (n=1268) were aged 18 and above years. The majority were male (56%), lived with parents and siblings (44%). The highest proportion of services used were physiotherapy services (57.1%), occupational therapy (47.9%), orthoptist/prosthetist (34.5%), social worker (23.1%), public health nurse (22%), psychologist (19.4%), assistive technology (16.2%), and speech and language therapist (14.9%). The unmet needs were reported in physiotherapy services (22.8%), occupational therapy (13%), chiropody (8.1%), and speech and language therapy (5.2%). Adults reported barriers in their physical environment (63.7%), transport (38.8%), income (28.2%), and services and support (26.5%).

Conclusions/Significance: In this secondary database study, both use and unmet needs were higher in physiotherapy and occupational therapy services. The environmental barriers and population factors were associated with health service use among adults with CP in Ireland. The findings highlight a need for development of adult services to meet the needs of adults with CP in Ireland.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberK5
Pages (from-to)60
Number of pages1
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue numberSupplement 3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2021
EventAmerican Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine: 75th Annual Meeting - online
Duration: 06 Oct 202109 Oct 2021


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