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Open Access Original research

Functional capacity and assistance from the caregiver during daily activities in Brazilian children with cerebral palsy

Silvia RP Malheiros13, Carlos B de Mello Monteiro235, Talita Dias da Silva23, Camila Torriani-Pasin2, Michele SR de Andrade2, Vitor E Valenti34, Rodrigo Daminello Raimundo23, Anelise Roosch35, Luciano MR Rodrigues3, Katia Valeria Manhabusque35, Regina Céliac Trindade Camargo3, Jefferson Drezzet3, Virginia Helena Quadrado2 and Luiz Carlos de Abreu35*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculdade Metropolitanas Unidas (FMU), Av. Santo Amaro 1239. 04506-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2 Escola de Artes, Ciência e Humanidades da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Rua Arlindo Béttio, 1000. 03828-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

3 Laboratório de Escrita Científica, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Av. Príncipe de Gales, 821. 09060-650, Santo André, SP, Brazil

4 Departamento de Fonoaudiologia, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP, Av. Hygino Muzzi Filho, 737, 17525-900, Marília, SP, Brazil

5 Departamento de Saúde Materno-infantil, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, USP, Av. Dr. arnaldo, 715. 01246-904, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

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International Archives of Medicine 2013, 6:1  doi:10.1186/1755-7682-6-1

Published: 10 January 2013



Cerebral Palsy (CP) presents changes in posture and movement as a core characteristic, which requires multiprofessional clinical treatments during children’s habilitation or rehabilitation. Besides clinical treatment, it is fundamental that professionals use evaluation systems to quantify the difficulties presented to the individual and their families in their daily lives. We aimed to investigate the functional capacity of individuals with CP and the amount of assistance required by the caregiver in day-to-day activities.


Twenty patients with CP, six-year-old on average, were evaluated. The Pediatric Evaluation Inventory of Incapacities was used (PEDI - Pediatric Evaluation Disability Inventory), a system adapted for Brazil that evaluates child's dysfunction in three 3 dimensions: self-care, mobility and social function. To compare the three areas, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used.


We found the following results regarding the functional capacity of children: self-care, 27.4%, ±17.5; mobility, 25.8%, ±33.3 and social function, 36.3%, ±27.7. The results of the demand of aid from the caregiver according to each dimension were: self-care, 9.7%, ±19.9; mobility, 14.1%, ± 20.9 and social function, 19.8%, ±26.1.


We indicated that there was no difference between the performance of the subjects in areas of self-care, mobility and social function considering the functional skills and assistance required by the caregiver.

Cerebral palsy; Activities of daily living; Self care