More Than Just Adolescence: Differences in Fatigue Between Youth With Cerebral Palsy and Typically Developing Peers
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine
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Objective To quantify differences in fatigue and disordered sleep between adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) and their typically developing peers. A secondary aim was to investigate the association between fatigue and disordered sleep in adolescents with CP. Methods A convenience sample of 36 youth with CP aged 10-18 years was matched for age and sex with 36 typically developing peers. The Fatigue Impact and Severity Self-Assessment (FISSA), the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) fatigue profile, and the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) were collected. Results Higher fatigue was reported in participants with CP than in their typically developing peers based on the FISSA total score (mean paired difference=19.06; 99% confidence interval [CI], 6.06-32.1), the FISSA impact subscale (mean paired difference=11.19; 99% CI, 3.96-18.4), and the FISSA Management and Activity Modification subscale (mean paired difference=7.86; 99% CI, 1.1-14.6). There were no differences between groups in the PROMIS fatigue profile (mean paired difference=1.63; 99% CI, -1.57-4.83) or the SDSC total score (mean paired difference=2.71; 99% CI, -2.93-8.35). Conclusion Youth with CP experienced significantly more fatigue than their peers as assessed by a comprehensive measure that considered both general and diagnosis-specific concerns. Sleep did not differ between youth with CP and their typically developing peers. These findings underscore the need to consider the clinical management of fatigue across the lifespan of individuals with CP to prevent the associated deterioration of functional abilities.