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.
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