The course of health-related quality of life of preschool children with cerebral palsy

M.W. Alsem, M. Ketelaar*, M. Verhoef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the course of the health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) of children with cerebral palsy (CP) between the ages of 2.5 and 4.5 years, at both group and individual level. We also examined whether CP characteristics are helpful in understanding which children show a decrease in HR-QoL. Methods: HR-QoL of 72 children with CP was measured using the TNO-AZL Preschool children Quality of Life (TAPQOL) questionnaire at the ages of 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 years. The course of HR-QoL was compared between groups with different CP characteristics. Results: Median scores for 10 of the 12 domains of the TAPQOL were found to be stable between ages 2.5 and 4.5 years. However, individual children showed great changes in HR-QoL at these ages, for all domains. A larger proportion of children with less severe CP showed a decrease in HR-QoL for the behaviour problems domain (p = 0.02), and a larger proportion of unilaterally affected children showed a decrease in HR-QoL regarding the anxiety (p <0.001) and social functioning (p = 0.01) domains. Conclusions: Although the median HR-QoL of children with CP is generally stable at these ages, much variation in the course of HR-QoL exists between individual children. There is no clear association between motor functioning or limb distribution and a decrease in HR-QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-693
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Cerebral Palsy
  • children
  • Health-related Quality of Life


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