CP Respiratory Checklist

CP Respiratory Checklist

An interactive online tool to identify risk factors for respiratory disease in children and young people with cerebral palsy (CP) has been developed by researchers at Ability Centre, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH), and Telethon Institute for Kids (TKI). The online tool can be found here.

Most children and young people with cerebral palsy (CP) do not have any serious difficulties with respiratory disease. But some have very serious and recurrent problems. One young person in 14 with CP is admitted each year to hospital with a respiratory illness. Some of these young people have multiple admissions in a year. Two in 5 of these young people are re-admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness the following year.

In 2011-12, 551 young people with CP (aged 1 to 26 years) or their carers completed a survey about their respiratory symptoms and co-morbidities. Most (482) of these respondents gave us permission to link their survey with their hospital admissions. We followed these for the next 3 years.

We found 9 factors that statistically significantly predicted hospital admissions over the 3 years:

  1. Gross Motor Function Classification Scale Level V—in other words, difficulty controlling head and body posture in most positions.
  2. At least one respiratory hospital admission in the year preceding the survey,
  3. Oropharyngeal dysphagia,
  4. Current seizures,
  5. Frequent respiratory symptoms,
  6. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease,
  7. At least 2 courses of antibiotics in the year preceding the survey,
  8. Mealtime respiratory symptoms (gurgly voice, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, choking), and
  9. Snoring every night.

Download the Risk Factors poster here.

These risk factors have been translated into an online checklist now available for use by young people with CP and their families. The article underlying this checklist is entitled, “Predicting respiratory hospital admissions in young people with cerebral palsy”.


Research team
Dr Marie Blackmore (Ability Centre), Dr Andrew Wilson (PMH, TKI), Dr Katherine Langdon (PMH), Natasha Bear (Bear Statistics), Dr Noula Gibson (Ability Centre, PMH), Lisa Moshovis (Ability Centre), and James Davies (Ability Centre). The research was funded by the Health Department, private donations to Ability Centre, and Non-Government Centre Support (NGCS).

For more information contact marie.blackmore@abilitycentre.com.au.

script type="text/javascript" src="//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=ra-56e8e54f45cd0ec9">