Health service use among adults with CP in Ireland

Manjula Manikandan, Claire Casey, Anne Doyle, Claire Kerr, Aisling Walsh, Jennifer M Ryan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background and Objectives: Adults with cerebral palsy (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. However, use of services has not being explored among adults with CP in Ireland. This study aims to describe the proportion of adults using health services and unmet needs relating to health services among adults with CP in Ireland; and to examine the associations between factors relating to environment and population and health service use among adults with CP.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using data from the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) examined adults with CP aged 18 to 65 years living in Ireland, who are currently using services, and or those who require services in the next five years. The NPSDD is a voluntary database that includes data on therapeutic, specialist, respite, day, residential, and support services for individual with physical and or sensory disabilities and also captures their unmet service needs (Doyle et al 2017). Descriptive analysis of demographics, health services currently accessed and unmet needs for services was conducted. Logistic regression analysis of the factors associated with health service use were conducted using SPSS.
Results: Participants (n=1268) were aged 18 and above years. The majority were male (56%), lived with parents and siblings (74.1%). The highest proportion of services used were physiotherapy services (57.1%), occupational therapy (47.9%), orthoptist/ prosthetist (34.5%), support services (29.6%) public health nursing (22.0%), psychology or counselling (22.4%). Unmet needs ranged between 11% and 40% and were highest for chiropody (40.4%), complementary therapy (39.4%), respite (39.0%) and support services (33.8%). Age, wheelchair use, living arrangements, gender, and speech impairment were associated with use of services.
Conclusion: In this study, physiotherapy was the most commonly used service by adults with CP, yet less than 60% accessed physiotherapy. Unmet need was high for many services. The findings highlight a need for development of adult services to meet the needs of adults with CP in Ireland.


ConferenceIrish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists: Annual conference 2021
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