Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Doreen Bartlett


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a complex disorder. There is a gap in the literature in classifying children with CP broadly. The purpose of this thesis was to develop holistic classification systems for children with CP. As a first step, a search was conducted to explore the strategies used to classify children with developmental co-ordination disorder and autism-spectrum disorder. Two versions of holistic classification systems named the body function index in cerebral palsy (BFI-CP) versions I and II were developed using two methods. Then, the relationship and differences among the developed classification systems and the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) were explored. Next, differences among subsets of the classifications that did not correspond to the ordinal levels of the GMFCS were explored. Next, the relationships between the developed classification systems (BFICP- I and II) and the GMFCS and the change in outcome of motor function were explored. Exploration of the existing classification systems of childhood disorders (Chapter 2) demonstrated that none of the classification systems in CP addressed the majority of the key features in the international consensus definition of CP. The BFI-CP I was developed using a summing technique and the BFI-CP II was developed using cluster analysis. The findings demonstrated a strong correlation between the BFI-CP I and the GMFCS (r=0.92), the BFI-CP II and the GMFCS (r=0.93), and the BFI-CP I and II (r=0.92), all (pχ² = 670.49, df=16, pχ² =685.57, df=16, p