Multimorbidity Risk Assessment and Prevention through Health-Promoting Behaviors in Adolescents and Adults with Cerebral Palsy (2017)

This study seeks to rigorously study the impacts of physical activity, sleep, and diet in preventing stroke and heart disease in patients with cerebral palsy. While such impacts are documented in the population that does not have disabilities, the population who has CP and other physical disabilities is not widely studied with respect to the impact of preventative behaviors. Typically, people with CP are not coached with the same energy toward healthy behaviors. The researchers’ aims are to show that such health-promoting behaviors can have similar impacts with people who have CP.

Initial Observations

  • Individuals with CP often have lower levels of physical activity.
  • This leads to higher prevalence of chronic diseases like strokes, obesity, and cardiopulmonary disease.
  • Healthy eating, adequate sleep and physical activity are healthy habits that prevent these diseases.
  • There is no system for doctors to use to assess the risk of a CP patient to develop a chronic disease.

Core Questions

  • What isn’t understood about the health habits of individuals with CP?
  • What do individuals with CP want from their healthcare in a disease-prevention light?
  • How do doctors track and test for chronic diseases and healthy habits?

Research Team

  • Dr. Jan William Gorter MD PhD FRCP(C), Dr. Edward Hurvitz MD, Dr. Patrick McPhee PhD(c) MSc, Dr. Mark Peterson PhD MS, Dr, Rita van den Berg-Emons PhD, Dr. Wilma van der Slot MD PhD, Dr. Olaf Verschren PhD