Childhood factors predict participation of young adults with cerebral palsy in domestic life and interpersonal relationships: a prospective cohort study

Marloes van Gorp, Marij e. Roebroeck, Mirjam van Eck, Jeanine M. Voorman, Jos W. R. Twisk, Annet J. Dallmeijer, Leontien van Wely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To determine childhood predictors of participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP). Materials and methods: This 13-year follow-up of an existing cohort (baseline age 9–13 years) included 67 young adults with CP (age 21–27 years). The Vineland adaptive behavior scales (VABS) and Life Habits questionnaire were used to assess attendance and difficulty in participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships. Baseline factors were categorised according to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses determined significant predictors (p < 0.05). Results: Lower manual ability, intellectual disability (ID), epilepsy and lower motor capacity predicted decreased future participation in domestic life, and/or interpersonal relationships (explained variance R 2 = 67–87%), whereas no association was found with environmental and personal factors. Extending models with baseline fine motor skills, communication, and interpersonal relationships increased R 2 to 79–90%. Conclusions: Childhood factors account for 79–90% of the variation in young adult participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of individuals with CP. Children with limited motor capacity, low manual ability, ID, or epilepsy are at risk for restrictions in participation in young adulthood. Addressing fine motor, communication, and social skills in paediatric rehabilitation might promote young adult participation.Implications for rehabilitation Childhood risk factors for limited participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships as a young adult with CP are ID, epilepsy, low manual ability, low motor capacity, and low activity & participation levels. In line with current practice, this study confirms the importance of addressing gross and fine motor skills in children with CP for their future participation in domestic life. In addition, results suggest that addressing communication and social skills during paediatric rehabilitation may optimise future participation in interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3162-3171
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number22
Early online date6 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2020

Cite this