The study was published in Research in Developmental Disabilities. Researchers from the McGill University Health Centre wanted to look at the prevalence of behavioral difficulties in young children with cerebral palsy and if comorbidities might be a reason why.
Caregivers of 113 children with CP were asked to complete several questionnaires about their children to see if there was any correlation. In children without CP, behavioral difficulties happen in about 1 in 10 children. Children with CP have a 25.6% chance for behavioral difficulties. The most common problems were problems with peers, followed by emotional symptoms, hyperactivity, and conduct problems.
Comorbidities that caused additional difficulty included sleep problems and nighttime pain. A lack of sleep increased the possibility of behavioral problems by 9.1 times. Nighttime pain increased the chance by 4.1 times.
The researchers concluded that caregivers and medical professionals working with children with CP need to look at sleep issues and night-time pain as part of the care plan. Dealing with these could cause a reduction in behavioral problems in school.
We hope that this information will help caretakers improve the quality of life of people with CP.