A comparison of activity, participation and quality of life in children with and without spastic diplegia cerebral palsy

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Calley, A. L., Williams, S., Reid, S., Blair, E., Valentine, J., Girdler, S. J., & Elliott, C. M. (2012). A comparison of activity, participation and quality of life in children with and without spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(15), 1306-1310. Original article available here


Purpose: To measure activity, participation and QoL in children with CP and to determine how these differ from a comparable group of typically developing (TD) children.Method: A total of eleven males and eight females with CP ranging in age from 5 to 12 years (mean age 7 years 10 months, SD 1 year 10 months; GMFCS level III) and 19 age and sex matched TD peers were recruited. Activity was measured using Paediatric Activity Card Sort (PACS), 6-Minute Walk Test and Timed Up and Go Test (TUG). Participation was measured using the assessment of Life Habits (LIFE-H) and quality of life was measured using the Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life Questionnaire (CP-QoL).Results: TD children performed more activities of personal care than children with CP, as assessed via the PACS, t(40)3.266, p0.002. TD children participate in more life habits than children with CP across all the LIFE-H domains except that of relationships. Results from the CP-QoL indicate that TD children experience a greater QoL in the domains of functioning, t(40)2.824, p0.007, and participation and physical health, t(40)3.543, p0.001, than children with CP.Conclusions: These findings encourage the development of therapeutic interventions that aim to reduce these imbalances at all levels of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Implications for Rehabilitation This paper offers a comprehensive approach to assessment of children with cerebral palsy using the ICF framework. It offers insight into the significant differences that children with mild to moderate CP experience when compared to their typically developing peers and identifies key areas to direct interventions.



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Not open access