To summarize evidence on the rates of co-occurring impairments, diseases, and functional limitations with cerebral palsy into succinct clinical messages.


A search was conducted of the databases PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO, and the results were supplemented with hand searches. Two independent reviewers determined whether retrieved abstracts met the following inclusion criteria: human subjects; >90% were children or adults with cerebral palsy; published after 1999; and population-based data. Articles were appraised, analyzing design, participants, level of evidence, rates of impairments, and functional implications. Methodologic quality was rated by using a standardized checklist.


A total of 1366 papers were identified in the search; 82 were appraised and 30 were included in the meta-analyses. High-level evidence existed, as rated on the Oxford 2011 Levels of Evidence: 97% of prevalence studies were level 1. The data were of a moderate to high quality grade (with the exception of sleep disorders), allowing plain English clinical messages to be developed.


Among children with cerebral palsy, 3 in 4 were in pain; 1 in 2 had an intellectual disability; 1 in 3 could not walk; 1 in 3 had a hip displacement; 1 in 4 could not talk; 1 in 4 had epilepsy; 1 in 4 had a behavior disorder; 1 in 4 had bladder control problems; 1 in 5 had a sleep disorder; 1 in 5 dribbled; 1 in 10 were blind; 1 in 15 were tube-fed; and 1 in 25 were deaf.

You do not currently have access to this content.