Objective: To explore the presence of pain, how pain was addressed by physicians and parents, and how pain affected everyday life in young children with cerebral palsy (CP).
Methods: Children with CP, aged 5–10 years, participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected from medical records spanning a period of two years and by a standardized parental interview that included six structured questions and the Pain Interference Index.
Results: A total of 118 children, with a mean age of 7.4 years (SD 1.5), participated in the study. The parents of 81% of these children were interviewed. Pain was reported in 52% of the children, and pain was present at all severity levels. The prescription of analgesics was documented in 25% of these children’s medical records. Fifty-nine percent of the children with pain received analgesics from their parents. Pain restricted the children’s everyday lives particularly concerning sleep, school work and being with friends.
Conclusions: Half of this group of young children with CP were reported to have pain. Pain restricted the children's everyday lives and seemed to be under-treated. If pain can be addressed early, the children's everyday lives are likely to be improved.