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An international survey of cerebral palsy registers and surveillance systems
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  • Alternative Title:
    Dev Med Child Neurol
  • Description:

    To describe cerebral palsy (CP) surveillance programmes and identify similarities and differences in governance and funding, aims and scope, definition, inclusion/exclusion criteria, ascertainment and data collection, to enhance the potential for research collaboration.


    Representatives from 38 CP surveillance programmes were invited to participate in an online survey and submit their data collection forms. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize information submitted.


    Twenty-seven surveillance programmes participated (25 functioning registers, two closed owing to lack of funding). Their aims spanned five domains: resource for CP research, surveillance, aetiology/prevention, service planning, and information provision (in descending order of frequency). Published definitions guided decision making for the definition of CP and case eligibility for most programmes. Consent, case identification, and data collection methods varied widely. Ten key data items were collected by all programmes and a further seven by at least 80% of programmes. All programmes reported an interest in research collaboration.


    Despite variability in methodologies, similarities exist across programmes in terms of their aims, definitions, and data collected. These findings will facilitate harmonization of data and collaborative research efforts, which are so necessary on account of the heterogeneity and relatively low prevalence of CP.

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