Healthcare use by children and young adults with cerebral palsy

Bethan Carter*, Verity Bennett, Hywel Jones, Jackie Bethel, Oliver Perra, Ting Wang, Alison Kemp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: To link routinely collected health data to a cerebral palsy (CP) register in order to enable analysis of healthcare use by severity of CP. Method: The Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register was linked to hospital data. Data for those on the CP register born between 1st January 1981 and 31st December 2009 and alive in 2004 were extracted, forming a CP cohort (n=1684; 57% males, 43% females; aged 0–24y).Frequencies of healthcare events, and the reasons for them, were reported according to CP severity and compared with those without CP who had had at least one hospital attendance in Northern Ireland within the study period.Results: Cases of CP represented 0.3% of the Northern Ireland population aged 0 to 24 years but accounted for 1.6% of hospital admissions and 1.6% of outpatient appointments. They had higher rates of elective admissions and multi-day hospital stays than the generalpopulation. Respiratory conditions were the most common reason for emergency admissions. Those with most severe CP were 10 times more likely to be admitted, and four times more likely to attend outpatients, than those with mild CP.
Interpretation: Linkage between a register and routinely collected healthcare data provided a confirmed cohort of cases of CP that was sufficiently detailed to analyse healthcare use by disease severity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Early online date20 Apr 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 20 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Mac Keith Press.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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