Children with cerebral palsy (CP) face many challenges including impaired motor control and coordination, functional impairment, sensory disturbances, and, sometimes, communication difficulties and cognitive deficits. Pain also may be a problem for children with CP due in part to the inherent deficits associated with the disease, as well as the invasive medical and surgical procedures and rehabilitative activities children with CP undergo on a regular basis. A review of current literature indicates pain is a common experience for children with CP and has been understudied in this population. Further emphasis and research on appropriate assessment and management strategies sensitive to the unique characteristics and limitations of children with CP are warranted.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Kimberly A. McKearnan, PhD OTR/L, by phone at 503/494-5832 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
Gail M. Kieckhefer, PhD ARNP, is an associate professor in the department of family and child nursing at the University of Washington.
Joyce M. Engel, PhD FAOTA, is a professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine, division of occupational therapy, at the University of Washington.
Mark P. Jensen, PhD, is a professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington.
Susan Labyak, PhD RN, is assistant professor in the department of family and child nursing at the University of Washington.
© 2004 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses