Older adults with cerebral palsy need more, receive less physical therapy

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Adults with cerebral palsy are more likely to experience debilitating pain from musculoskeletal disorders, but receive significantly less physical therapy for these diseases, according to a recent study.

The findings, published in Disability and health, analyzed four years of Medicare community life service claims with and without who had one or more outpatient claims for a musculoskeletal diagnosis. Less than a third of patients used . People with cerebral palsy, despite having a higher risk of suffering from secondary comorbidities, received even less physical therapy.

“The results are staggering, but they support our hypothesis that people with cerebral palsy receive unequal health care,” says Mark Peterson, Ph.D., professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Charles E. Lytle, Jr. co-author of the work. “We know that adults with cerebral palsy have musculoskeletal conditions that are much worse than the general population. They need more, but they are getting much less in terms of treatment.”

A neurodevelopmental paralysis caused by a number of brain abnormalities, cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability of childhood onset. The research team states that the findings underscore the need to increase clinical awareness of musculoskeletal conditions for older adults with cerebral palsy, as well as to improve detection strategies and preventive health interventions.

Cerebral palsy is often seen solely as a pediatric disease, says Peterson, which is part of the reason it is misunderstood and not treated properly.

“Children with cerebral palsy are growing and the general population of medical providers needs to be more aware that adults with cerebral palsy have a high risk of suffering from these musculoskeletal disorders,” he says. “Secondly, with cerebral palsy they need more access to specialists for treatment. They “age” in specialty hospitals and adult rehabilitation service providers do not necessarily have the knowledge to ensure that these patients receive high-value care. ”


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More information:
Deborah Thorpe et al, Musculoskeletal Diagnosis, Comorbidities, and Use of Physical and Occupational Therapy among Older Adults with and Without Cerebral Palsy, Journal of Disability and Health (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.dhjo.2021.101109

Citation: Older adults with cerebral palsy need more, receive less physical therapy (2021, May 28), retrieved May 29, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-older-adults-cerebral- palsy-physical.html

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