Unmet needs and health care utilization in young adults with cerebral palsy

Channah Nieuwenhuijsen, Y van der Laar, Mireille Donkervoort, W Nieuwstraten, Marij Roebroeck, Henk Stam

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Purpose. To gain insight into the unmet needs and utilization of health care of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and to explore relations between unmet needs, health care utilization and subject characteristics. Method. A cross-sectional study was performed in 29 young adults with CP without severe learning disabilities (IQ > 70). Subject characteristics such as age, gender, limb distribution, level of gross motor functioning, level of education and perceived participation and autonomy were measured. Outcome measures were the Southampton Needs Assessment Questionnaire, Impact on Participation and Autonomy and a questionnaire on health care utilization. Results. Young adults with CP reported unmet needs mostly on information (79%), mobility (66%) and health care (66%). About half of the participants visited a rehabilitation physician (52%) or a physical therapist (55%) in the past year. Participants with lower levels of gross motor functioning were found to have more unmet needs and visited various health care professionals more often than young adults with higher levels of gross motor functioning. However, participants with higher levels of gross motor functioning still reported several unmet needs. Conclusions. Although young adults with CP frequently receive treatment from health care professionals, they indicate unmet needs with respect to several areas such as information on diagnosis, functional mobility and formal health care. In the treatment of young adults with CP, attention should be paid to these aspects.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1254-1262
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research programs

  • EMC MUSC-01-46-01

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