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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


VASCONCELOS, Rosangela L. M. et al. Functional performance assessment of children with cerebral palsy according to motor impairment levels. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.5, pp.390-397.  Epub Oct 23, 2009. ISSN 1413-3555.

BACKGROUND: Several studies have evaluated motor function among children with cerebral palsy (CP), but little is known about how mobility impairment, self-care and social function interrelate with their functional skills and caregiver assistance. OBJECTIVES: To identify functional differences among children with CP at different levels of motor dysfunction, and to investigate the relationship between these differences and the domains of mobility, self-care and social function in functional skills and caregiver assistance. METHODS: An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted among 70 children and their families. The children were aged 4 to 7.5 years and received care at the Children's Rehabilitation Center. The instruments used were the Pediatric Evaluation Disability Inventory (PEDI) and the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Data analysis was performed by means of ANOVA and Pearson's correlation. RESULTS: The results showed significant functional variability among the children with CP at different levels of motor dysfunction severity. This variation was observed in the domains of mobility, self-care and social function. The results also showed a strong correlation between mobility and self-care and between mobility and social function. CONCLUSIONS: In view of the variability shown by the children, it was necessary to apply PEDI and GMFCS, which appears to increase the understanding of how gross motor function relates to activities of daily living. This correlation demonstrates the extent to which mobility is a determinant for evaluating functional performance and guiding therapeutic practice to develop children's potentials and instruct caregivers in stimulation.

Keywords : cerebral palsy; functional skills; mobility; performance assessment.

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