Physical Therapy Publications

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Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine





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OBJECTIVES: To describe the course of fatigue over a 3-year follow-up period in adults with cerebral palsy and to investigate the association of known determinants of fatigue (i.e. demographic characteristics and/or body composition) with change in fatigue.

METHODS: Forty-one adults with cerebral palsy from a previous study of fatigue were invited to participate in a follow-up study. Twenty-three adults with cerebral palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I-V; mean age 38 years 2 months, standard deviation (SD) 14 years 1 month)) agreed to participate (convenience sample). Fatigue was measured with the Fatigue Impact and Severity Self-Assessment (FISSA, range 31-157) questionnaire. The course of fatigue is described at group, subgroup (GMFCS) and individual levels.

RESULTS: The mean FISSA score for all participants was 84.0 (SD 27.7) at baseline and 91.7 (SD 26.7) at follow-up. Despite variations among individuals in the change of fatigue, there was no statistically significant difference in FISSA score over time (p = 0.087, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) -16.7 to 1.22). No known determinants of fatigue predictive of change in FISSA scores were found.

DISCUSSION: Fatigue appears to be relatively stable within adults with cerebral palsy over time, with a variable presentation between individuals and across GMFCS levels. Care providers should monitor and discuss fatigue in young individuals with cerebral palsy in order to attenuate fatigue later in life.


Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine by Foundation for Rehabilitation Information an open-source version of this paper can be found at

Citation of this paper:

Lansink, I. O. L., McPhee, P. G., Brunton, L. K., & Gorter, J. W. (2018). Fatigue in adults with cerebral palsy: A three-year follow-up study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 50(10), 886-891.

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