Predicting functional communication ability in children with cerebral palsy at school entry

Coleman, Andrea, Weir, Kelly, Ware, Robert S. and Boyd, Roslyn (2015) Predicting functional communication ability in children with cerebral palsy at school entry. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 57 3: 279-285. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12631

Author Coleman, Andrea
Weir, Kelly
Ware, Robert S.
Boyd, Roslyn
Title Predicting functional communication ability in children with cerebral palsy at school entry
Journal name Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-1622
Publication date 2015-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/dmcn.12631
Volume 57
Issue 3
Start page 279
End page 285
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To explore the value of demographic, environmental, and early clinical characteristics in predicting functional communication in children with cerebral palsy (CP) at school entry.

Data are from an Australian prospective longitudinal study of children with CP. Children assessed at 18 to 24 and 48 to 60 months corrected age were included in the study. Functional communication was classified at 48 to 60 months using the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS). Predictive variables included communication skills at 18 to 24 months, evaluated using the Communication and Symbolic Behavioural Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS-DP) Infant-Toddler Checklist. Early Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), Manual Ability Classification System, and motor type and distribution were evaluated by two physiotherapists. Demographic and comorbid variables were obtained through parent interview with a paediatrician or rehabilitation specialist.

A total of 114 children (76 males, 38 females) were included in the study. At 18 to 24 months the mean CSBS-DP was 84.9 (SD 19.0). The CFCS distribution at 48 to 60 months was I=36(32%), II=25(22%), III=20(18%), IV=19(17%), and V=14(12%). In multivariable regression analysis, only CSBS-DP (p<0.01) and GMFCS (p<0.01) at 18 to 24 months were predictors of functional communication at school entry.

Body structure and function and not environmental factors impact functional communication at school entry in children with CP. This provides valuable guidance for early screening, parent education, and future planning of intervention programs to improve functional communication.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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