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BMJ. 2007 July 7; 335(7609): 17.
PMCID: PMC1910670
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Children with cerebral palsy as happy as others

Children with cerebral palsy reported a similar quality of life to other children, in a European cross sectional study. The 500 children, aged between 8 and 12 years, scored themselves on 10 aspects of their lives using the recently validated Kidscreen instrument. Their responses were comparable to those given by healthy children in the general population, and in one domain—the school environment—children with cerebral palsy seemed happier than their peers.peers.

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The researchers also looked for associations between the children's disabilities and their quality of life and were mildly surprised to find only a few, of which pain was the most important. Pain was associated with reduced scores in all 10 domains of the Kidscreen instrument, but the association was significant in only five. Overall, the degree of disability explained 3% of the variation in quality of life reported by these children, and pain explained 7%.

The researchers got a response rate of only 63% and couldn't afford matched controls for each child with cerebral palsy. So, although the study wasn't perfect, the findings should be reassuring to parents and professionals. This study excluded children who were too disabled to use Kidscreen.

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