The SPARCLE group report the results of a cross sectional multicentre European study to determine the prevalence and associations of self- and parent-reported pain in young people with cerebral palsy (CP). The survey conducted at home visits of 13-17 year olds seven European countries examined severity, frequency, site and circumstances of pain in previous week and severity of pain associated with therapy in previous year.Of the participants 429 could self-report and parent-reports were obtained for 657.
The research team found pain in young people with CP is highly prevalent with 74% of young people and 77% of parents reporting pain in the previous week. 40% experienced leg pains, 34% reported headaches and 45% of those who received physiotherapy experienced pain during therapy. Girls reported more pain than boys and young people reported more pain if they had emotional difficulties. Parents reported more pain in children with emotional difficulties, or with more impaired walking ability. The authors concluded clinicians should routinely assess pain in young people with CP and clinical interventions to reduce pain should be implemented and evaluated. The efficacy of medical and therapeutic interventions causing pain should be re-examined to establish if their benefit justifies the pain and fear of pain that accompany them.Arch Dis Child 2013;98:434-440 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-303482