Cerebral Palsy Interventions Should Be Started Early

Parents should be involved in programs with task- and context-specific interventions to improve motor and cognitive outcomes

baby crawling with an adult in the backgound

WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- When a child meets the criteria of high risk for cerebral palsy (CP), intervention should start as soon as possible, according to an international clinical practice guideline published online May 17 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Catherine Morgan, Ph.D., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify evidence about CP-specific early interventions for children aged 0 to 2 years across nine domains promoting motor function, cognitive skills, communication, eating and drinking, vision, sleep, managing muscle tone, musculoskeletal health, and parental support.

Based on 43 studies, the researchers identified three best-practice principles supported for the nine domains: (1) immediate referral for intervention after a diagnosis of high risk for CP; (2) building parental capacity for attachment; and (3) parental goal setting at the commencement of the intervention. Furthermore, the researchers identified 28 recommendations (24 for and four against) specific to the domains that were supported with key evidence: motor function (four recommendations), cognitive skills (two), communication (seven), eating and drinking (two), vision (four), sleep (seven), tone (one), musculoskeletal health (two), and parent support (five).

"It is critical that early intervention for CP starts at diagnosis and the associated impairments are monitored and treated according to recommendations," the authors write.

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