Pediatric outcomes data collection instrument scores in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy: an analysis by age groups and severity level

Douglas Barnes, Judith L Linton, Elroy Sullivan, Anita Bagley, Donna Oeffinger, Mark Abel, Diane Damiano, George Gorton, Diane Nicholson, Mark Romness, Sarah Rogers, Chester Tylkowski
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2008, 28 (1): 97-102

BACKGROUND: The Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) was developed in 1994 as a patient-based tool for use across a broad age range and wide array of musculoskeletal disorders, including children with cerebral palsy (CP). The purpose of this study was to establish means and SDs of the Parent PODCI measures by age groups and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels for ambulatory children with CP.

METHODS: This instrument was one of several studied in a prospective, multicenter project of ambulatory patients with CP between the aged 4 and 18 years and GMFCS levels I through III. Participants included 338 boys and 221 girls at a mean age of 11.1 years, with 370 diplegic, 162 hemiplegic, and 27 quadriplegic. Both baseline and follow-up data sets of the completed Parent PODCI responses were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: Age was identified as a significant predictor of the PODCI measures of Upper Extremity Function, Transfers and Basic Mobility, Global Function, and Happiness With Physical Condition. Gross Motor Function Classification System levels was a significant predictor of Transfers and Basic Mobility, Sports and Physical Function, and Global Function. Pattern of involvement, sex, and prior orthopaedic surgery were not statistically significant predictors for any of the Parent PODCI measures. Mean and SD scores were calculated for age groups stratified by GMFCS levels. Analysis of the follow-up data set validated the findings derived from the baseline data. Linear regression equations were derived, with age as a continuous variable and GMFCS levels as a categorical variable, to be used for Parent PODCI predicted scores.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study provide clinicians and researchers with a set of Parent PODCI values for comparison to age- and severity-matched populations of ambulatory patients with CP.

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