• Vol. 50 No. 2, 111–116
  • 01 February 2021

Causes, functional outcomes and healthcare utilisation of people with cerebral palsy in Singapore



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Introduction: A voluntary cerebral palsy (CP) registry was established in 2017 to describe the clinical characteristics and functional outcomes of CP in Singapore. Methods: People with CP born after 1994 were recruited through KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National University Hospital and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore. Patient-reported basic demographics, service utilisation and quality of life measures were collected with standardised questionnaires. Clinical information was obtained through hospital medical records. Results: Between 1 September 2017 and 31 March 2020, 151 participants were recruited. A majority (n=135, 89%) acquired CP in the pre/perinatal period, where prematurity (n=102, 76%) and the need for emergency caesarean section (n=68, 50%) were leading risk factors. Sixteen (11%) of the total participants had post-neonatally acquired CP. For predominant CP motor types, 109 (72%) had a spastic motor type; 32% with spastic mono/hemiplegia, 41% diplegia, 6% triplegia and 21% quadriplegia. The remaining (42, 27.8%) had dyskinetic CP. Sixty-eight (45.0%) participants suffered significant functional impairment (Gross Motor Functional Classification System levels IV–V). Most participants (n=102, 67.5%) required frequent medical follow-up (≥4 times a year). Conclusion: Optimisation of pre- and perinatal care to prevent and manage prematurity could reduce the burden of CP and their overall healthcare utilisation.

Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of permanent, but often changing, disorders that affect movement and posture, causing activity limitation, attributed to nonprogressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain. The birth prevalence of CP is estimated to be 1.4–2.2 per 1,000 in high-income countries. It is one of the most common and severe disabilities in childhood, with high individual and societal demands on health, educational and social services.

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