Oromotor dysfunction and communication impairments in children with cerebral palsy: a Register study

Jackie Parkes, Nan Hill, Mary Jane Platt, Caroline Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim  To report the prevalence, clinical associations, and trends over time of oromotor dysfunction and communication impairments in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Method  Multiple sources of ascertainment were used and children followed up with a standardized assessment including motor speech problems, swallowing/chewing difficulties, excessive drooling, and communication impairments at age 5 years.

Results  A total of 1357 children born between 1980 and 2001 were studied (781 males, 576 females; median age 5y 11mo, interquartile range 3–9y; unilateral spastic CP, n=447; bilateral spastic CP, n=496; other, n=112; Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level: I, 181; II, 563; III, 123; IV, 82; IV, 276). Of those with ‘early-onset’ CP (n=1268), 36% had motor speech problems, 21% had swallowing/chewing difficulties, 22% had excessive drooling, and 42% had communication impairments (excluding articulation defects). All impairments were significantly related to poorer gross motor function and intellectual impairment. In addition, motor speech problems were related to clinical subtype; swallowing/chewing problems and communication impairments to early mortality; and communication impairments to the presence of seizures. Of those with CP in GMFCS levels IV to V, a significant proportion showed a decline in the rate of motor speech impairment (p=0.008) and excessive drooling (p=0.009) over time.

Interpretation  These impairments are common in children with CP and are associated with poorer gross motor function and intellectual impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1119
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume52
Issue number12
Early online date31 Aug 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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