Chronic pain, fatigue, and depressive symptoms in adults with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy

Wilma van der Slot, Channah Nieuwenhuijsen, Rita Van den Berg - Emons, Michael Bergen, Sander Hilberink, Henk Stam, Marij Roebroeck

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Aim To investigate the prevalence and co-occurrence of chronic pain, fatigue, and depressive symptoms in adults with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy (SBCP) and explore associations of chronic pain and fatigue with depressive symptoms and daily functioning. Method Fifty-six adults with SBCP without severe cognitive impairment participated (35 males, 21 females; mean age 36y 5mo, SD 5y 10mo; Gross Motor Function Classification System level I [13], II [28], III [11], IV [4]). Chronic pain (>3mo), severity and nature of fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale; Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory), and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale) were assessed. Associations were explored using multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results The study sample had a higher prevalence of chronic pain (75% vs 39%; p<0.001), mean fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale, 4.4 [SD 1.3] vs 2.9 [SD 1.1]; p<0.001), and prevalence of depressive symptoms (25% vs 12%; p=0.004) than Dutch healthy reference samples. Chronic pain and severe fatigue co-occurred in 34% and in combination with depressive symptoms in 16% of the participants. Severity of fatigue was associated with depressive symptoms (OR 3.38; p<0.01). Chronic pain and fatigue were not associated with limitations in daily functioning. Interpretation These findings suggest that adults with SBCP are severely affected by chronic pain, fatigue, and depressive symptoms, in addition to their spastic paresis.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)836-842
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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