Research & Development

Preventing and managing respiratory disease in CP

Some young people with cerebral palsy (CP) experience recurrent chest infections. Most of the risk factors for recurrent chest infections in CP can be treated.

We searched all the published research between 1998 and 2018 to find evidence on the best ways to prevent and manage recurrent chest infections in young people with CP. We found 34 studies. In these studies, treatments for improving respiratory health in CP included:

  1. Keeping the airway clear
  2. Improving fitness and lung function
  3. Positioning
  4. Mealtime management
  5. Controlling drooling of saliva with Botulinum Toxin-A or salivary gland surgery
  6. Antibiotics
  7. Gastrostomy tubes and fundoplication
  8. Spinal surgery

However, there is not very strong published evidence in most of these areas. There is an urgent need for more research on how to prevent and treat respiratory disease in CP.


Research team
Amanda Marie Blackmore 2, Noula Gibson 1 3, Monica S. Cooper 5, Katherine Langdon 1 6, Lisa Moshovis 1, Andrew C. Wilson 6.

For more information, download the poster or go to the published review.

1Ability Centre, Western Australia, Australia
2Telethon Kids Institute, Western Australia, Australia
3Perth Children’s Hospital, Western Australia, Australia
4The Royal Children’s Hospital, Victoria, Australia
5Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Victoria, Australia
6The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia