Several studies have given frequencies of pain in children with cerebral palsy, but comparing the findings is difficult. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of pain in non-ambulatory children with cerebral palsy and describe their characteristics by presence or absence of pain.
Data were extracted from an ongoing longitudinal national cohort following non-ambulatory children with severe cerebral palsy aged 3 to 10years over 10years. We described and compared data for the first 240 children at inclusion by presence or absence of pain. Pain was assessed by a visual analog scale and the Douleur Enfant San Salvadour scales and by investigator interview.
Overall, 65 children experienced pain, for a prevalence of 27.1% (95% confidence interval 22–33%). All children experiencing pain had orthopaedic pain and 45.6% had pain from another origin. The main pain sites were hips (43.4%) and feet (26.9%). Joint mobilisation was the source of pain for 58.3% of children experiencing pain, and sitting was identified as painful for 10.3%. Pain was greater with scoliosis (43.1% vs 24.1% with and without pain; P=0.006) and spasticity treatment (32.3% vs 17.2%; P=0.020).
Children with cerebral palsy frequently experience pain and also early pain, mostly articular and orthopedic. The assessment of pain should be systematic because of its high prevalence. Interventions to prevent scoliosis, hip luxation, and foot deformities and to reduce spasticity, such as the use of analgesics before joint mobilization exercises, may reduce the prevalence of this pain.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Cerebral palsy, Pain, Children