Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation
Donations 1300 136 140

CP Check-Up – New Program to Stop or Reduce Pain

Back to blog3 years ago by Jodie
Will overwrite featured video.
therapists measure the leg of a child with cerebral palsy who is lying down
Will overwrite featured image.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, researchers funded by the Research Foundation have developed CP Check-Up™ – a program to help clinicians reduce the impact of secondary impairments and chronic pain in children with cerebral palsy through early identification and intervention.

Dr Petra Karlsson, Research Fellow at the Research Foundation says donor support has been critical to the development of the program’s database program – now one of the world’s largest resources of up-to-date information on people living with cerebral palsy.

‘Our supporters, in particular UBank, which donated $100,000 towards the program, made it possible for us to develop and build the database and implement CP Check-Up™ much earlier than we had originally envisaged. This means our clinicians can now work with families to identify problems earlier, and provide timely treatments.’

The Australian CP Check-Up™ program is based on an active surveillance program developed in Sweden (CPUP) which reported almost complete prevention of hip displacements or dislocations and a dramatic reduction in contractures (down by 70%) and scoliosis (down by 60%).

While the Swedish CPUP program is focussed on investigating the effects of cerebral palsy on a child’s upper and lower limb development and nutrition, the Australian CP Check-Up™ program has expanded its assessment criteria to also include pain, sleep, communication, cognition and learning, as well as parent and child well-being.

The Australian CP Check-Up™ program is currently available for children aged up to 6 years (with plans to expand to include adults in 2015) who attend twice-yearly specialised assessments conducted by Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s therapy teams.

CP Check-Up™ utilises a range of specialised assessments to collect information (such as physical status, functional abilities, cognitive ability, emotional health and well-being) and treatment history details which is then collated on an electronic database.

This extensive database allows a child’s support team (including health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational, speech and recreation therapists, psychologists, doctors) to quickly access and analyse the information, from which a report is generated, to help them identify problems early.

‘By identifying problems earlier, we may be able to reduce time spent on hospital waiting lists by proving the urgency of a particular intervention and start the process of applying for equipment funding earlier,’ says Dr Karlsson.

Dr Karlsson says the information on the database is not only helping children who are currently participating in the program, but over time the data will contribute to information that will guide clinical practice.

‘By systematically monitoring these children and recording the interventions they’ve used, it is possible to see what works best and make similar treatment recommendations for other children.’

Parent feedback on the program has been positive says Petra.

‘Parents are particularly pleased with how the CP Check-Up™ program has facilitated greater communication between therapy teams and families regarding their child’s development, prognosis, shared goal settings and intervention plans with other services such as hospitals.’

CP Check-Up™ is funded by the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Benefits of CP Check-Up Program for Families

  • Re-assurance – regularly monitoring means that potential problems can be detected earlier than before
  • Peace of Mind – success is possible as seen by results of Swedish program
  • Less Surgery – children are less likely to develop painful secondary conditions that require invasive interventions
  • Improved well-being – regular appointments helps parents and children feel more in control about future treatment planning

Donations to the CP Check-Up™ program will help us further expand the program and improve the quality of life for more people with cerebral palsy.

Contact our Partnerships team to find out how you can support CP Check-Up™

, email Tracey Jordan