Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:180-4 | Number 3, June 2006
Prevalence study of cerebral palsy in Hong Kong children
WKL Yam, HSS Chan, KW Tsui, BPHL Yiu, SSL Fong, CYK Cheng, CW Chan
Working Group on Cerebral Palsy, Hong Kong Society of Child Neurology and Developmental Paediatrics Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, Chuen On Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To investigate the prevalence of cerebral palsy in local children aged 6 to 12 years and to evaluate service utilisation by those children who attend mainstream schools.
DESIGN. Cross-sectional survey.
SETTING. Mainstream primary schools and special needs schools in Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. Headmasters or headmistresses of special needs schools, and various organisations that provide services to children with cerebral palsy in the school year September 2003 to June 2004.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Prevalence of cerebral palsy and support services used by children with cerebral palsy who attend a mainstream school.
RESULTS. Of 435 572 children, 578 with cerebral palsy were identified. The overall point prevalence was 1.3 per 1000 children. The age-specific prevalence rate varied from 1.04 to 1.50 per 1000 children. Approximately 38% of children with cerebral palsy attended a mainstream school. Among those studying in special needs schools, 96% attended a school for the physically handicapped or a school for the severely mentally handicapped. Among 219 children with cerebral palsy in mainstream schools, 57 (26%) received educational support, and 134 (61%) received out-patient therapy support. Only 12% received both supporting services. No educational or therapeutic support was received by 26% of children.
CONCLUSIONS. Compared with overseas data, the low prevalence of cerebral palsy detected in local children in this investigation may be due to the differences in study design or a genuinely low prevalence. Setting up a cerebral palsy registry could help monitor the local prevalence of this childhood disability more accurately, thereby providing more reliable information for planning support services for this subgroup of children.
Key words: Cerebral palsy; Children; Prevalence; Survey
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