The pediatric outcomes data collection instrument detects improvements for children with ambulatory cerebral palsy after orthopaedic intervention

Mark L McMulkin, Glen O Baird, Andi B Gordon, Paul M Caskey, Ron L Ferguson
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2007, 27 (1): 1-6
The purpose of this study was to assess whether the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) was able to detect changes in function, as perceived by the parents of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy who had undergone lower limb soft tissue and/or bony surgeries. This was a retrospective study of 80 ambulatory patients who were seen in the motion laboratory and classified with the Gross Motor Functional Classification System (GMFCS). Significant changes (P < 0.05) were detected in the PODCI scores for upper extremity function, transfers and mobility, physical function and sports, and global function after surgery, by approximately 4% to 5%, whereas comfort (pain-free) did not significantly change. There was a significant difference in the PODCI scores preoperatively between GMFCS levels I, II, and III for upper extremity function, transfers and mobility, physical function and sports, and global function. Postoperative improvements were of equal magnitude for each GMFCS level. This suggests that the PODCI did not have a ceiling effect for high-functioning children. Age (+/-10 years) and surgery (soft tissue/soft tissue plus bony) were not significant factors for any of the subcategories preoperative to postoperative. In conclusion, the PODCI detected improvement as perceived by the parents in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy after lower-limb soft tissue and/or bony surgeries in 4 areas by a magnitude of approximately 4% to 5%.

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